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Autumn charm adds quiet allure to deserted tourism hotspots

In the absence of tourists amid the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, this year’s autumn ambiance at famous tourist hotspots is marked by extreme tranquility.

Sa Pa, the chilly resort town in the northern highlands province of Lao Cai, enters the rice harvest season from mid-August to early September, when terraced rice fields in Muong Hoa Commune, Lao Chai – Ta Van village ripen, creating stunning yellow and green carpets.

The beautiful seasonal scenery typically brings hordes of tourists to Sa Pa, but the pandemic has thwarted the arrivals this year. Photo by Hoang Trung Hieu

Ripened rice in terraced fields. The photo was taken in late August in the Muong Hoa Valley by Hieu, a Sa Pa native.

Hieu said Sa Pa has never been so quiet and it is peak tourism season now.

Two women bicycle on deserted Hang Ngang Street, one of the busiest streets in Hanoi, on August 30. Photo by Giang Trinh

Hoa sua, or the milk flower, is an autumn highlight of the capital city, blooming and exuding their special fragrance from early September until November. The photo was captured on Hanoi’s Quan Thanh Street. Photo by Giang Trinh

Fallen yellow leaves on Dinh Tien Hoang Street in the vicinity of the Hoa Phong Tower in front of the Hanoi Post Office, August 22.

Hanoi has recorded over 3,700 infections during the ongoing wave and authorities have imposed a series of social distancing measures since late July. Starting Monday, Hanoi has extended strict lockdowns in high-risk areas. Photo by Giang Trinh

Another hill resort town, Da Lat in the Central Highlands, is also quiet and peaceful without the usual bustle of tourists. The town closed all tourist attractions starting July 19 and only opened them to intra-provincial visitors this week. Photo by Nguyen Trinh

A man uses his smartphone to capture the scene of Da Lat’s Xuan Huong Lake shrouded in mist. The area around the lake is where thousands of locals and visitors gather early morning for walks and other exercises, but pandemic restrictions keep the streets empty. Photo by Nguyen Trinh

The southern beach town of Vung Tau on September 2, Vietnam’s National Day. The beaches and the promenade usually teem with hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors. Photo by Tran Duy

Bai Sau, also known as Thuy Van Beach, is one of the most popular local beach destinations in Vung Tau, on September 2. The local government has banned large crowds and tightened coronavirus restrictions.

Just four months ago, the beach bustled with thousands of visitors during the Reunification Day holiday (April 30), just days after the fourth coronavirus wave hit Vietnam. The fourth wave has proven the most challenging one for the country, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and claiming thousands of lives. Photo by Tran Duy. Follow vnexpress

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