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Tourists' inappropriate behavior proves offensive to both Vietnamese and expats

Tourists' inappropriate behavior proves offensive to both Vietnamese and expats

Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 14:02 GMT+7
Tourists' inappropriate behavior proves offensive to both Vietnamese and expats
Tourists kite-surf near My Hoa Village in Vinh Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District, Ninh Thuan Province, south-central Vietnam. Photo: Duy Ngoc / Tuoi Tre

Tourism across Asia has always been a dream of people from all over the world. Thailand, the Philippines, and Bali in Indonesia are among the lesser-known adventure destinations favored by budget-conscious travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Now, with more direct flights and growing infrastructure, Vietnam has stepped up on the ladder of choice locations, but at what cost? 

A recent story covered an offensive presentation by a TikToker aptly named, Small Brained American, shedding light on the rise of offensive, reckless, and self-centered tourists seeking attention in this era of 'look at me' culture.

Vietnamese tourism has strongly rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic ended. Visitor numbers have continued to grow. Resorts have reopened and facilities have been developed across Vietnam to accommodate the significant increase in visitors, spanning from the northern region to the southern and central parts of the country.

To better manage such growth, more direct flights have been opened to places including France, Australia, Turkey, and many others across Asia and Europe.

The government has implemented a more efficient e-visa system, facilitating easier visa processing for tourists entering the country. In addition, there are numerous countries where short term visits are permitted without a visa. 

Never before has it been so easy to get to Vietnam and the increase in tourist numbers proves that this system is working well for the economy and communities across the country.

However, not everyone that arrives in a country for a holiday will behave in an appropriate way. These people believe that because they are no longer in their home country, they can do whatever they want as they think they are exempt from local laws. 

Clearly the person representing the Small Brained American social media site follows a similar ethos. In my opinion, the content shared by this person is not wanted by the people of Vietnam and it is not wanted by people like me, long-term expats who are proud and appreciative of being part of this community. 

Inappropriate behavior has been reported in some regions around the world and it is not limited to Asia. Indeed, places like Spain, Ibiza, Mexico, many countries in South America, as well as closer cities such as Phuket, Bali, and Manila all have seen various kinds of antisocial behavior. 

Commonly known, these places give a platform for extremist activity on social media with mostly younger tourists attempting to create that one video that ignites the interest of millions around the world to bring them notoriety. 

But rather than entertain, their creations ultimately offend and abuse. The content they create is false and misleading. They fail to gather facts, preferring to generate their own narrative in the pursuit of 'likes' or views. 

What is missed in the actions of Small Brained American and similar social media junkies is the fact that Vietnam is a complex and beautiful country that was built on relentless struggles over generations. 

The history of Vietnam is one that has to be respected for its uniqueness and the strength shown by the people to overcome so many challenges in creating the nation that is appreciated today by visitors from all over the world.

A foreign traveler is seen jumping into the water at the foot of Du Gia waterfall from a high rock. Photo for illustration purposes. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

A foreign traveler is seen jumping into the water at the foot of Du Gia Waterfall from a high rock. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam's captivating beauty, from its sweeping coastline to the romantic farmlands nestled on hillsides and luminous mountains, ensures an unforgettable experience for all visitors. Add to that the warmth and hospitality of its people, who have a knack for touching hearts and creating new connections, and Vietnam becomes a country that commands respect and admiration from people all around the globe.

Taking a camera to record extremist and inaccurate rhetoric is offensive to the true Vietnamese culture and an embarrassment to all the hard-working expats who live in Vietnam and work tirelessly within the law for the betterment of the country.

Vietnam stands as a burgeoning economic powerhouse, characterized by a rich community spirit and cultural heritage that captivates and earns admiration from all who are fortunate enough to experience it.

The message to anyone wanting to visit is to appreciate the people and country, and enjoy your time here. Learn about the culture and experience breathtaking views. And whilst creating lifelong memories for yourself, show respect and follow the laws of the land. They are there for the good of everyone and form the foundation that this amazing country has been built on. 

I am proud to be an expat living in Vietnam. I am proud to have so many Vietnamese friends and I am humbled by the support and friendliness shown by people all over the country. Let’s hope that others learn from Small Brained American’s offensive actions and this will never be seen again in Vietnam. 

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Ray Kuschert / Tuoi Tre News Contributor

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