Many people in Vietnam have remarked that wearing bikinis to the beach should be a choice, not a regulation as the thing is what makes beachgoers feel most comfortable, given an official’s suggestion that vacationers should be required to wear the two-piece swimsuits at the seaside.
In the Southeast Asian country, wearing bikinis is still something unfamiliar, not to mention locals’ traditional mindset and fear of sunshine.
It would be easy for youngsters to follow the trend of wearing the swimming costumes, but middle-aged and old people might not want to change their habit.
At the 14th session of the People’s Council of Da Nang City on July 9, local authorities talked about tourism development.
Ngo Quang Vinh, head of the Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said that the city had received a lot of compliments from tourists for its clean, beautiful and low-cost serviced beach.
However, Vinh also mentioned that several foreigners have complained about many Vietnamese people wearing sleepwear to the beach “instead of bikinis,” and wondered if there should be a regulation which would require beachgoers to wear the two-piece swimsuits.
The idea then triggered an argument between those who say ‘yes’ to such a regulation and the naysayers, who think it is not suitable in the Vietnamese context.
Kung Kingkamon Sanguanpibool, Thailand
Judging or discussing what other people wear on the beach is not the right thing to do unless you know them. People have the right to wear whatever they want to. Beaches are the places for relaxing so people can simply be dressed in their comfortable outfit or whatever they feel comfortable with on their vacation. The image of the beach should not be judged by the costumes but what matters should be safety and cleanness, except for some private beaches which have their rules for vacationers to follow.
Regarding the suggested regulation, it should allow for all kinds of bathing suits instead of just bikinis, for not all ladies will be comfortable in these two-piece swimsuits. Also some religions might be stricter when it comes to what people wear in public.
In Thailand, people normally wear bikinis from 17 to early 30. The costume is mostly worn on private beaches or islands or in hotels’ swimming pool areas. Most Thais will not be in bikinis or swimming suits in public areas such as beaches and wearing a one-piece swimming suit is common for all swimming pools as it is a requirement.
I have been to the seaside often and if I go to private beaches, I will put on my swimming suit but when at the public places, I will have shorts and T-shirts on. People in Thailand will wear comfortable outfits or swimming costumes when they go to the beach, like shorts and T-shirts or light blouses. We just try to be comfortable and be ready to get wet and easy to dry as well.
Wearing bikinis is suitable for beachgoers in aesthetic terms, but it should be optional, not compulsory, as it is their freedom of choice. I think if they run a campaign to encourage people to wear the bathing suits, it would be much better than promulgating a regulation.
Generally, wearing bikinis to the beach would be more eye-catching than other kinds of outfit. However, I think it is acceptable if people want to wear normal clothes. Most Vietnamese don’t like either sunshine or showing off their body, so that’s why they often wear full clothes. Moreover, Da Nang citizens tend to go back home right after swimming at the beach without taking a shower like most of us as travelers. Therefore, it is more about their habit and comfort.
A regulation that would require people to wear bikinis to the beach is not a good idea as most Vietnamese consider wearing T-shirts and shorts as normal. It’s obvious that they are not familiar with wearing bikinis like foreigners. They are even shy putting on this kind of outfit to swimming pools, especially those whose body is not attractive and elders. Youngsters might become more and more familiar with bikinis, but it’s extremely hard to change the mindset of middle-aged people. I admit that Da Nang is a tourism venue, but they might lose a huge number of visitors if bikinis become mandatory for beachgoers.