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​Authorities search for tour guide who says Vietnam ‘once a part of China’

Saturday, March 03, 2018, 10:40 GMT+7

The tourism department of the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang is working to identify a tour guide who reportedly told her guests at a local museum that Vietnam used to be a part of China.

The woman in question was heard making the statement at the Da Nang Museum in a 32-second clip that was first uploaded to a Facebook group of Chinese-speaking tour guides in Vietnam on February 28.

The tour guide told a group of tourists in Chinese that Vietnam had once been a part of China, and that ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress, derived from China’s body-hugging cheongsam, according to the video seen by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The woman, who appears to be a foreigner, was not wearing a tour guide pass while there was no apparent details that could help identify which tour operator she worked for.

Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien, director of Da Nang Museum, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday that the clip had been filmed inside the museum, at an exhibition for the ao dai.

Thien said the museum had provided officials from the municipal tourism department with security footage of the mysterious female tour guide to help with her identification.

Tourists visit the Da Nang Museum in Da Nang, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tourists visit the Da Nang Museum in Da Nang, central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

According to the museum director, it is strictly prohibited to operate as a tour guide without authorization from the Da Nang Museum.

Museum curators might have mistaken the woman for a regular tourist and failed to intercept, Thien explained.

“We welcome hundreds of tourists daily, so it’s difficult to keep watch over everyone,” he said.

“We have worked with the municipal tourism department to evict multiple unlicensed foreign language-speaking tour guides from the museum in the past.”

Chinese nationals illegally working as guides for tourist groups from their home country have been busted many times in the past in Da Nang spreading false information about Vietnam’s history.

Despite efforts by local authorities to purge the activity, unlicensed Chinese tour guides remain rampant in the central Vietnamese city, with tourism officials putting the estimated number of these illegal guides to over 400 as of 2016.

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