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Kayaking to return to Ha Long Bay

Released at: 14:00, 03/05/2017

Kayaking to return to Ha Long Bay

Photo: Vietbeautycruise.vn

Authorities decide to lift ban introduced in March.

by Le Diem

Authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh have given the go ahead for kayaking services to be offered again on Ha Long Bay sometime this month, after they controversially banned the water sport in March.

The Quang Ninh People’s Committee banned the activity after accusations of overcharging were thought to damage the image and reputation of tourism on the bay. There was a widespread backlash from the public and tour operators, however, as kayaking is a unique feature of trips to the bay and are popular among many tourists, especially foreigners. The reaction prompted authorities to quickly reconsider their decision.

The committee has asked that kayaking services be added to the list of eight registered attractions in Ha Long Bay. 

Tourism operators are required to ensure safety conditions, register with authorities, and sign contracts with the Ha Long Bay Management Board to gain permission to offer kayaking services, the committee said.

The provincial government earlier instructed Ha Long to compile plans to offer sports services in the bay, including kayaking and rowing, by 2020.

There are currently over 1,400 kayaks in Ha Long Bay.

Recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994, Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s premier attractions. It has around 1,600 islands and islets that form a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. The UK-based travel site Rough Guides recently listed it among the Top 10 UNESCO Heritage Sites in Asia.

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