Aggressive "promoters" or "salespeople" in the countryside?



  • I'm sure all of us know about the famous Cambodian boy who picked up 7-8 different languages to appeal & promote his souvenirs to various tourists that come by his village. While he isn't aggressive per se, this reminded me of my encounters with other locals who were very persistent in their sales pitch and would follow you everywhere until you bought something. But once you buy something from 1 vendor, the other vendors all target you as well and it's not an easy situation to get out of.

    I was wondering if there anyone else who has had such an experience?

    What should be the appropriate response to them? Are we subconsciously fueling an unsustainable livelihood model for them? Should we buy as much as we can?
    Would also love to hear if anyone knows of any long-term effects in the local communities this brings (e.g internal conflict?)...


  • Community Admin

    @lynnchan @Sharon-Lok yes me too! experienced the same thing in Sapa, Vietnam, and it was the only thing that made the trip unpleasant. I decided not to buy because (1) I really had no need for these souvenirs (2) I didn't want all the other vendors to target me and (3) to do so may encourage more locals to start selling souvenirs.. and I'm sure there are other means of livelihood that are more sustainable, generate less waste and not dependent on the tourist dollar.


  • Community Admin

    I share the same sentiments! Appreciate if anyone could offer some insights on this.


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