Urbanist Hanoi

BackEat & Drink » Food Culture » Netizens Call for Boycott of 'Racist' Hoi An Cafe for Refusing to Serve Vietnamese

Netizens Call for Boycott of 'Racist' Hoi An Cafe for Refusing to Serve Vietnamese

Many netizens are calling for a boycott of a coffee shop in Hoi An after anecdotes emerged online accusing the place of discriminatory service.

According to Phu Nu Online, the café in question is Cyclo’s Road Café, a riverside spot on Bach Dang Street, Hoi An. The newspaper interviewed P., a female tourist from Saigon who visited the coffee shop on September 7 with her husband and a friend. When the friend asked a male staff member if they could move a chair, he told them: “Please go away, we don’t serve [you] here.”

P. recounted the incident to the host of her rental, who confirmed the café’s controversial policy: “They don’t serve Vietnamese there. They will refuse if they see you; it happened to me too.” At the time of writing, the café’s official TripAdvisor profile has 175 reviews, with 102 five-star ones and 15 one-star reviews. The bad reviews all call the coffee shop out for its “racist” treatment. The first mention of the discrimination dates back to early 2018.

“Amazing cocktails and overall great vibe. Until you notice that all Asian people are being sent away (unless they are with white friends, like me). Doesn't matter whether they're Asian tourists or locals,” a review from Jade L. reads. “The owner/waiter refused them all, even though there were free tables.”

In addition to accounts from Vietnamese tourists, there are also similar complaints made by travelers who are Thai, Korean and Chinese. “The waiter who works there is racist. He made us get out. He doesn’t welcome Asian people though he is an ASIAN as well,” TripAdvisor user jeongahnshin writes in a review after a visit in August 2018.

Since news of the discrimination made headlines, netizens have called for a boycott of Cyclo’s Road Café and showered its Facebook account with bad reviews.

The incident has gained enough traction online to prompt local authorities to step in. On September 16, head of the Hoi An Department of Culture and Information Nguyen Van Lanh issued an official report on the Cyclo’s Road Café case. According to Thanh Nien, after investigating into the café, the department confirmed that P. was refused service.

“[The incident] could have happened due to subjective or objective reasons, but city authorities do not condone this and neither do the majority of Hoi An citizens,” the document reads. It also acknowledges that there are times when tourists in Hoi An, Vietnamese or foreign, misbehave, causing conflicts between tourists and locals.

[Photo by Karl M via TripAdvisor]

Related Articles:

Public Bicycles Are a Hit in Hoi An, Not So Much in Saigon and Hanoi

Hoi An's Banh Mi Phuong Opens First Overseas Branch in Seoul

Italian Tourists Evicted From Son Tra for Disturbing Langurs With Flash Photography

Related Articles

in Food Culture

A Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm in Singapore That Tastes (and Smells) Just Like Home

Joo Chiat, a neighborhood in the eastern realms of Singapore, is hardly a forgettable area.

in Food Culture

A History of Rice Wine, Part 1: Family Stills, Prohibition and Colonial Bloodshed

Fight or flight: to ball fists, rally rag-tag villagers clutching canes, staffs, shovels, sampan oars and bamboo staffs to ward off the bayonet-wielding officers invading your home intending to ransac...

in Food Culture

A History of Rice Wine, Part 2: A Traditional Craft Slowed to a Trickle

Rose-tinted shades and long swept-back hair tickling the collar of a half-unbuttoned maroon shirt that revealed a dangling peace-sign pendant: at age 27, Minh was the epitome of 70s Saigon cool. More ...

in Food Culture

A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation – especially from a western point of view – leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a lu...

in Food Culture

Afro Mini Mart: What's Inside Vietnam’s First African Grocery Store?

At first glance, it looks just like any other convenience store. The same strings of Oishi shrimp snacks and revolving wire rack of Orion Marine Boys adorn either side of its entrance, just as they do...

in Food Culture

After Milk Tea-Flavored Water, Japan Now Has Transparent Coffee Because Why Not

So this is why scientists have been too busy to cure cancer, send a human to Mars or successfully bring Tasmanian tigers back from extinction?

Partner Content