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Rubbish in Halong Bay

Toronto, Canada
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Rubbish in Halong Bay

I just got back from a cruise in Halong Bay and was appalled at the amount of Garbage floating around everywhere. I tried to pick some of it up when I was out kayaking but couldn't pick up much more after my kayak was full. It was absolutely disgusting and I could almost say that it ruined my trip. The landscape is beautiful with all the little finish boats and the limstone peaks and as long as you look upwards it's still an amazing sight but the minute you look at the ocean all the magic of the place was gone. I'd still recommend going to Halong Bay for the impressive geographical features but I couldn't enjoy my cruise as much as I would have liked to because of the disgusting amount of litter floating around.

Has anyone else noticed this as a problem and does anyone know if either UNESCO or the Halong Bay authorities have any plans to address this issue??

Italy
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1. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

We went on the Dragon's Pearl and they go a different route than the others and we saw no rubbish whatsoever but we were told that the owners of the junk ;the Indochina junk company are sponsoring a clean up campaign in the area they pay money to the locals for all the polestyrene boxes and plastic bags that they collect. It would be a good idea if all the other companies would do the same.

Adelaide
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2. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

Like Chrella, we were also on Dragon Pearl. There was absolutely no rubbish to be seen on our trip until the second night when cruising to the cave dinner. Even then it was minimal. Last day cruising back towards Halong City rubbish was more noticeable, and became very obvious around the city harbour.

I don't know just what it's going to take to make the Vietnamese realize they have to clean up and protect this area for future generations, and just to keep the visitors coming. If they can force everyone to paint their boats white just because they think it looks more attractive, surely they realize just how unattractive the garbage looks, and can put the same effort into fixing it.

For now Bai Tu Long Bay is still almost pristine, but for how much longer?

pacific palms
Destination Expert
for Mui Ne
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3. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

I have reports of Bai Tu Long being polluted many times. I think its a lucky dip now as there is so much land based activity all around the catchment and this along with some junks practices are the prime cause.

It is true that there are Junk operators doing the right thing and I understand that a voluntary sub committee of Junk operators have got to-gether to organise pick ups, but the problem is the prime cause is not being addressed.

The picked up rubbish is taken away for land fill which in that area is not a real solution. Rubbish (plastics) breaks down under pressure to a toxic liquid and this leaches through the groundwaters and ends up in Ha Long Bay.

I encourage people to write to the Ha Long Bay Management committee and UNESCO complaining that this World Heritage Area is being poorly managed. Many contributors to TA have done this and there has been some positive movement recently so it really needs to see people getting involved with letters.

Cheers Ross

gold coast australia
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4. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

I agree with Ross. We must write to UNESCO reporting the rubbish. I have just returned from 2 nights in Bai Tu Long with Prince 3 (indochina) & was appalled at the rubbish on our first day kayaking to a beach. We could not swim nor even walk on this beach which was full of rubbish including broken glass . And this was the 2 nd beach we saw like this. The sandy beach Prince takes you too for the BBQ lunch is man made & well kept & free of garbage. As our guide explained those who are being paid for collecting rubbish are being lazy & not doing so. Something has to be done to preserve this magnificent area so the more that write in and express their concern will hopefully result in action & educating those who are destroying this very magic spot on our planet. I wish I could do more to contribute.

Vung Tau, Vietnam
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5. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

There is a clean up Ha Long Bay that is trying to make the locals aware of whats going on.Its not just Ha Long bay that is a problem most of the water ways are the same. You should see the rubbish in the canal in Tan Phu, its just full of damn plastic and poly, not a nice site at all.

pacific palms
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for Mui Ne
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6. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

Agreed Banhxeo you only have to have a look around any fishing village or beach area in VN and the situation is the same. The Govt should have an education program if it wants to keep its Tourism income. Ha Long is a special case - its supposed to be a World Heritage Area which means that it belongs to the world, not Vietnam, and therefore the VN Government can be sanctioned by the United Nations for neglect.

Ross

goldcoast
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7. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

Thanks for that- this is also what our friends told us.. will think again about going.

Da Nang, Vietnam
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8. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

UNESCO does not sanction countries that fail to maintain a World Heritage Site. No punitive mechanisms are in place, and would not be binding or enforceable if they did exist.

Ironically the first action of UNESCO is to place the site on the "danger" list and pump more money into the hands of the host government so they can "fix" the problem. The last resort of UNESCO would be to de-list the site which has only happened twice in the history of UNESCO.

pacific palms
Destination Expert
for Mui Ne
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9. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

What you say is correct World-Panda but it would be quite wrong to suggest or infer that people should not write to UNESCO ( wh.pact@unesco.org) and The Ha Long Bay Management Dept (166 Le Tyhanh Tong Road, Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province ) to voice their concerns as it is the sum total of complaints like this that will create at the very least some form of dialogue. Should they pump more money into the Government and nothing is done there are plenty of people now watching, and an insistance that de-listing occur. I suspect that the authorities know this hence the fake" 7 wonders" reclassification of Ha Long Bay, a move like white paint that they hope will distract.

Ha Long Bay is heading for a boycott in my view.

Ross

10. Re: Rubbish in Halong Bay

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Removed on: 09 July 2012, 12:13