Lovers from Vietnam and South Korea reunite in a third country


While their respective countries have yet to fully open their borders to international travel and have several restrictions in place, Ho Phuong Nhi and Hwa Yong chose the Philippines as their meeting venue after the South Asian nation -East fully reopened to foreign tourists in early February and eased the quarantine. conditions.

On February 24, Nhi left HCMC as her boyfriend flew from South Korea’s Incheon airport to Manila.

“When we met at Manila airport, I jumped for joy as we were finally reunited after two years apart due to the Covid pandemic,” Nhi said.

“Although I had carefully prepared for the first overseas trip after the pandemic, I was still worried that I would not be able to enter the Philippines,” she said.

The couple then went with their Filipino friend to Saud Beach in San Fernando City. After traveling for about 13 hours, they reached one of the most beautiful beaches in Asia with clear blue waters.

Ho Phuong Nhi (L) and her South Korean boyfriend Hwa Yong at Saud Beach in San Fernando City in the Philippines, February 2022. Photo courtesy of Ho Phuong Nhi

Along the way, they visited Paoay Church, one of the oldest churches in the country and declared a National Cultural Treasure in 1973 by the Philippine government.

After a day at Saud Beach, they traveled to the Bangui wind farm and the ancient city of Vigan in Ilocos Sur province, famous for its cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture that has remained intact for decades.

They will spend time exploring the local cuisine and all the popular tourist attractions in the Philippines before returning to their respective home countries on March 11.

Long distance relation

Nhi and Yong met and fell in love five years ago. While he continued to live in South Korea and she in Vietnam, they continued to meet regularly until early 2020 when the pandemic broke out and regular flights from South Korea to Vietnam stopped. been suspended.

“The past two years have been really tough for us, and we’ve thought about breaking up a few times due to the ongoing stress of a long-distance relationship,” Nhi said.

“Before coming to the Philippines, we argued a lot and didn’t even contact each other. When the Philippines reopened international tourism, it gave us the opportunity to see each other again and erase all the distances,” said said Nhi.

Over the past two years, the couple had been looking for all sorts of ways to travel abroad and meet, including getting a marriage visa or applying for a Canadian visa, but nothing worked out.

When several Southeast Asian countries reopened their borders, they intended to travel to Thailand, but chose the Philippines because the procedures for entering the country were much simpler.

Without direct flights, Nhi had to book a ticket with Singapore Airlines which cost 14.5 million VND ($614).

They must make a health declaration via One Health Pass three days before their flight and provide negative PCR test results within 48 hours of departure.

When Vietnam reopens international tourism on March 15, Hwa will return to Vietnam to celebrate Nhi’s birthday.

“We are looking forward to this day. We still have many plans for our meeting in Vietnam,” Nhi said.


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