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Westerners and Foreigners Only?!


“For your safety and security, this party is for Westerners and Foreigners only.” What do you think about this? What are the reasons behind it? Safety in what sense?

In many “developing countries” with gorgeous natural resources, there are mini tourist-only playgrounds (some say “backpacker ghettos”) nestled in delicious strips of beach or hills. The idea is that tourists with money come to play… and want to be waited on or left alone.

“For your safety” is a cloaked reference to pickpocketing, prostitution, scamming, and the general cultural mistrust that comes with a gaping socioeconomic disparity. It is also blatantly racist and classist.

This tourist-locals love-hate dance is constant, and deserves reflection. An example: Every morning at 8am in this awesome $6-a-night bungalow village, slamming hammering and sawing wakes us. The Thai owners of the tourist complex are erecting ten more beach huts! I was irked at first, not gonna lie, but that hammering means: 1) the owner is successful and her business is growing, 2) the tourist infrastructure will be even more delightful in a few months, and 3) there are people sweating and working all day while others (ahem) laze about like jellyfish. In the end, you gotta love the hammering.

Like this beach bungalow village, the intercultural dance evolves each month.

Magical Hidden Beaches of Ko Phan gan!!!
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Marcos O

Monday 4th of June 2012

Marketing 101... The advertising is clear for who its for, and for who its not. Its no different than saying "black tie only" or any other covert way of distinguishing between who can afford their over-priced tourist beers.

Fiona P

Monday 7th of May 2012

Is that discrimination?

Lillie

Monday 7th of May 2012

Absolutely!!!

Oriana Hairston

Friday 23rd of March 2012

It's kind of creepy that it says,"For your safety and security, this party is for Westerners and Foreigners only.”

Imported Blogger Comments

Wednesday 26th of May 2010

Everything under the Sun said... I have been denied entry at Backpackers in South Africa under the guise that its for international tourist only. I think tourist/backpackers needs to reject this segregation, we travel to interact with the local people not to feel more important than them in their own country.

November 26, 2009 12:00 PM

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