Tran Manh Ha, a local tour guide, told VietNamNet that a group of foreign travelers he guided in early June expressed disappointment when witnessing garbage in Ha Long Bay.

“There was so much waste and foam floats, especially in the area of Trinh Nu Cave. Tourists said it is a pity that Vietnam has such a wonderful natural landscape, but it is not protected,” Ha said.

“Vietnam may lose its appeal when tourists, returning home, tell their friends that they saw a lot of garbage on Ha Long Bay,” Ha said.

According to the tour guide, the situation was serious in February and March, but it then improved in April and May after serious measures were applied to clear the environment.

However, garbage has again appeared, mostly in the area near Trinh Nu Cave. The areas near Luon Cave and Titov Island are cleaner thanks to timely garbage removal.

He warned that if the floating garbage is not removed, it will spread to other areas of the bay.

The images and videos about the garbage have been posted on social media, raising worries about a negative influence on Vietnam’s tourism sites.

The owner of a tourism boat on Ha Long Bay said many tourists have reported and complained about the existence of waste on water surfaces, which has affected their experience and feelings during trips.

Some travelers, when giving feedback, stressed that the biggest problem was the pollution of the bay. “I hope that when I come back, I will no longer see garbage on the water surface,” a traveler said. “It is necessary to clean up before receiving guests.”

“We feel ashamed of the waste. The bay is so beautiful, but waste exists everywhere. In some places, waste goes into streams, while in other places, waste is stuck in rock crevices, which seriously affects the landscapes,” the owner of a tourism boat said.

Many campaigns to clean Ha Long Bay have been organized by local authorities. The latest one was in April, when many people showed images and video clips, and reported about the situation of the bay. 

The Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports (MCST) then sent a dispatch to the Ha Long Bay Board of Management requesting to clarify the problem.

Ha Long City authorities then mobilized hundreds of people to collect waste. However, waste reappeared just two months later.

Phan Dau