Cultural Storytelling through Public Facilities in Ban Chak-Ngaew Chinese Old Town

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Wandee Pinijvarasin
Pega Sanoamuang
Patiphol Yodsurang
Aracha Kraseain
Asadaporn Kiatthanawat

Abstract

Vernacular commercial communities are considered as an important cultural heritage, but many of them are fading away or abandoned. Some of these subdued communities have been tried to revitalize themselves through tourism management. Even though some of built environments for public facilities are perhaps required for tourism, these somehow can affect the local image. This paper aims to illustrate an approach to develop public facilities that can inform cultural story of a vernacular commercial community, which were rehabilitated under community-based tourism. Data were obtained from observation and interviews with one of the committees of Ban Chak-Ngaew Chinese old town in Chonburi province. This community was selected because it is considered as a role model, operating community-based tourism successfully. This study found that most built environments for public facilities in Ban Chak-Ngaew Chinese old town came from the resources of their cultural heritages, in which some were obsoleted or disappeared from everyday usage. Most of them are presented through exhibition methods along with tourism activities. Especially, an artesian well and its placewas intentionally constructed with the purpose for communicating their cultural meaning as a public space for social interaction, thus becoming public space of acculturation. Overall development of public facilities for tourism of this community suggests an alternative way to present community identity as well as an approach for improving community-based tourism.

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