Quang Ninh province authorities have lifted the ban on kayaking trips on Halong Bay after the city’s authorities faced huge opposition from travel firms that feature boat trips.
Local media reported that the ban of kayak service on Halong Bay came into effect, 1 April, prompting protests from travel firms.
Tour operators complained that they were given just three days notice before the ban took effect, leaving them little time to make changes to their scheduled tours.
Most of them featured a kayak trip as part of the tour options for their overseas guests.
They complained that authorities were too hasty. They should have given more time to evaluate and target companies that were illegal rather than a blanket on all companies. Most visitors to Halong Bay want to experience a kayak trip.
According to the Halong City People’s Committee, kayak sightseeing during overnight boat cruises on Halong Bay have increased sharply.
They also claimed tour companies were charging too much and that cruise boat crews were leading kayak tours, raising concerns aboard safety on unattended boats.
There are a total of 1,400 kayaks available with 1,000 of the kayaks carried on tour boats, the report said. Halong Bay is the most popular sightseeing destination in northern Vietnam and was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. It is also one of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature designated in April 2012 by New Open World Corporation, an associate of the New Seven Wonders Foundation.
Halong Bay is one of the world’s best places to go sea kayaking according to Wanderlust UK Magazine. “Kayaking in Vietnam you’ll not only witness extraordinary scenery, but gain an intimate insight into the country’s coastal communities – meeting and dealing with local fishermen who will be only too happy to supply you with your evening meal.
Where to kayak: The premier sea kayaking location in Vietnam (and perhaps the whole of Asia) is Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site peppered with 1,600 islands – many of which have enticing sea caves, tunnels and mangroves. The Mekong Delta, meanwhile, offers easy paddling through myriad channels and a chance to join the ebb and flow of life at floating markets and villages.”