Vietnam Tourism  book cover
1st Edition

Vietnam Tourism

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ISBN 9780789025715
Published June 15, 2005 by Routledge
150 Pages

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Book Description

Explore the travel/tourism possibilities of this exotic yet tourist-friendly country

Vietnam Tourism presents a unique ethnographic-semiotic analysis of some of the most important touristic icons in Vietnamese culture. In addition, it offers a firsthand analysis of many aspects of daily life in Vietnam and a semiotic analysis of Vietnam’s dominant cultural symbols. A twelve-page photo section brings vibrant images of this unique country to life.

Vietnam Tourism also presents an essential overview of what Vietnam has to offer tourists, looking at the exciting possibilities—and the potential pitfalls—of visiting this extraordinary country. Although Vietnam is a Third World country, it has excellent tourism companies and many wonderful sites—from Halong Bay and Hue to extraordinary temples and beautiful beaches. The book paints a vivid portrait of this country’s hidden gems and popular tourist destinations, exploring the problems and possibilities Vietnam faces in developing its tourism industry.

In Vietnam Tourism, you’ll find information that is essential for anyone who needs to be “in the know” about this increasingly popular tourist destination. This reader-friendly book will leave you better informed about:

  • the rapid construction of hotels in important tourist sites: there are now hotels of all kinds—from super luxurious ones to middle-range, three-star hotels, down to very primitive hotels—in most of the country’s important tourist venues
  • daily life in Vietnam’s teeming cities, in its religious enclaves, and in its unique rural areas
  • the meaning and relevance (semiotics) of commonplace objects in Vietnam, including Pho (a traditional soup that is often eaten for breakfast and is found everywhere in the country), conical straw hats, spring rolls, pith helmets, dong (Vietnamese currency), water puppetry, etc.
  • important sites that tourists often visit, including the Ho Chi Minh museum, Ha Noi, the Cu Chi Tunnels, the unforgettable Cao Dai Cathedral at Tay Ninh, the Mekong Delta, and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
  • images of Vietnam created by travel writers—what the tourist guidebooks have to say, and how they relate to the reality of the author’s personal experience in Vietnam
After reading Vietnam Tourism, you (and your students) will have a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. This is an ideal book to read before visiting Vietnam yourself—or recommending/planning a trip for others. The fresh insights it presents will help make any trip to the region more rewarding for the traveler.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword (Ross K. Dowling)
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • A Note on Ethnography
  • The Design of the Book
  • Why People Become Tourists: Uses and Gratifications
  • Chapter 1. The Pros and Cons of Vietnam Tourism
  • Statistics on Tourism in Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia
  • Visitors in Vietnam by Country in 2001
  • Some Problems of Vietnam’s Tourism Industry
  • Benefits of Vietnam As a Tourist Destination
  • Chapter 2. The Consumer Culture and Vietnam
  • Tourism and Consumer Cultures: The Grid-Group Typology
  • Consumer Cultures and Tourist Choices
  • Travel Preferences in Vietnam and Cultural Alignments
  • About Imaging, Interpreting, and Remembering Vietnam
  • Chapter 3. Vietnam: Image and Reality
  • Vietnam As an Imagined Place
  • Pico Iyer’s Picture of Saigon and Hanoi
  • Two Writers on the Vietnamese Passion for Food
  • The Vietnam War
  • Chapter 4. Touring Vietnam in Safety and Comfort
  • Logistics
  • TF Handspan Group Tour Itinerary
  • Annie, Thu, and Problems with Names
  • Adventure Wear and Magic Glasses: I Go High Tech
  • Teaching the Vietnamese About American Culture
  • Escaping with One’s Life While Touring Vietnam
  • A Rainbow the Day We Leave
  • On the Matter of Vietnam’s Appeal for Tourists
  • Chapter 5. Understanding Vietnam: Culture and Geography
  • Scholarly Approaches to Studying Foreign Cultures
  • The Ideas of Roland Barthes
  • Quoc Ngu: The Vietnamese Written Language
  • The Cao Dai Cathedral at Tay Ninh
  • Sapa and the Hill-Tribe Girls
  • The Mekong Delta
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon
  • Chapter 6. Exploring Vietnam’s Culture: Food and Entertainment
  • Pho
  • Nuoc Mam (Fish Sauce)
  • Vietnamese Metal Coffee Pots
  • Spring Rolls
  • Non La (Conical Hats)
  • Ao Dai: The Traditional Vietnamese Costume for Women
  • Ho Chi Minh’s Body
  • General Giap: The Snow-Covered Volcano
  • Green Pith Helmets
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • CD Cafés
  • Dong and Dollars
  • Roi Nuoc (Water Puppets)
  • Chapter 7. Reflections on Touring Vietnam
  • A Jumble of Memories
  • The Actual Vietnam versus the Virtual Vietnam
  • Street Cultures and House Cultures
  • An Age-Old Question
  • Chapter 8. Conclusion
  • The Tourist As Stranger in a Strange Land
  • A Final Word
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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Arthur Asa Berger