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Surprising Vietnam War Tourism Reactions

January 2, 2012

P213

I am a travel blogger addict. As a new years resolution and in an attempt to clean up my life I’ve cut back on the amount of travel blogger subscriptions i have. This one im definitely keeping: Alex in Wanderland. She’s in Vietnam now and found a lot of mixed reactions, felt a lot of strong emotions and got a totally different point of view about the war from the perspective fron the Viaynamese point of voew. Definitely worth a read. Following is a short section of het colorful blog post here:
http://www.alexinwanderland.com/2011/12/29/war-tourism-in-vietnam/

“My reaction to the sites and museums we visited was extremely emotional. Half the time I found myself genuinely ill about the horror America has helped cause in Vietnam. Specifically, the short-sighted use of Agent Orange, which not only killed or maimed half a million people but has gone on to disfigure unknown generations, and poison countless food and water sources. The other half of the time I felt an indignation boiling up at the biased and propagandized views being fed to Vietnamese nationals and international tourists. War is a two-sided hell, but the atrocities of the Viet Cong against the South and yes, against Americans, were completely absent from the discussion. But as they say, history is written by the victors. I think most Americans would find it difficult to travel through Vietnam and not have some bit of identity crisis. I found myself thinking we had no business getting involved in the first place, while simultaneously outraged at the US’s lack of interference during the Khmer Rouge occupation of Cambodia. I found myself sympathetic to the terrorized civilians of Vietnam, while at the same time empathizing with the terrified young American soldiers, many of whom fought a war they didn’t believe in. I found myself embarrassed, and I found myself confused. Mostly, nationalities aside, I found myself mourning the fact that so many humans on this Earth suffered so deeply for so long. Visiting Vietnam gave me a perspective on war I didn’t previously know I was missing, and made me reflect deeply on the war my country is involved in today. It seems to me that the wounds of the Vietnam (or American) War are still very fresh despite the decades that have passed. I hope as time begins to heal them we can all learn from a more balanced, two sided story of a war gone horribly wrong; and that we can move forward into the future and learn from the mistakes that were clearly made.

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One Comment
  1. Hi Sofia, thanks so much for the feature! I’m glad to hear I made the cut 🙂 Leave me a comment every once in a while and say hi!

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