Contested Memories / Contested Sites: Cultural Politics in Border Tourism in Vietnam
This paper explores the social interaction of the Chinese tourists and the Vietnamese tourism workers in border tourism in Vietnam. Though as a familiar neighbor to the Vietnamese, Chinese people going to Vietnam for short-term visits in the form of mass tourism is still new to the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese, acting as host, have yet to develop pertinent ways in interacting with the Chinese. Such interaction, whether in museums, temples, historical sites, or souvenir markets, has involved techniques of repackaging historical memories, re-imaging historical sites, and retrieving the rhetorical intimacy between China and Vietnam. This paper also addresses the issue of Western-centric bias in tourism studies. As non-Western tourists have added much to the complexity of the global human interactions and cultural transformation, there is an urgent need to investigate the impacts brought about by non-Western tourists.
Keywords: Border Tourism, Non-Western Tourism, Chinese-Vietnamese Interaction, Historical memories, Cultural appropriation, Cultural production
Dr Yuk Wah Chan
Part-time lecturer, Southeast Asia Research Centre, City University of Hong Kong