Zero-VND tours damaging Vietnam’s tourism environment
VietNamNet Bridge - The so-called zero-dong tours with Chinese tourists continue despite great efforts by local authorities to stop them.


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Chinese travelers in Quang Ninh



After a short period of interruption, zero-dong tours have resumed. “You can meet Chinese travelers everywhere in Quang Ninh, from old to young people, from healthy to disabled,” said N.V.T, a tour guide.

The Tuan Chau Tourism Port in Ha Long was full with Chinese travelers recently, though it was very early in the morning. About 100 45-seat coaches were seen in the coach area, ready to serve travelers. 

Everything at the port seemed to be set up to serve Chinese. Signboards and billboards were all written in Chinese. The boards hung over the shops were in Chinese.  The shops sell Vietnam-made products such as agarwood and pearl.

According to the Quang Ninh Inland Waterway Port Authorities, about 600 ships are licensed to visit Ha Long Bay each day, and 70 percent of visitors have Chinese nationality. 

“It is understandable,” T said. “Most Chinese travelers to Quang Ninh book zero-dong tours. Only a few Chinese come on cruises. To save money, travelers can go by land from the Mong Cai Border Gate.”

Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh is an ideal destination used by travel firms for low-cost tours.

It is estimated that Quang Ninh receives tens of thousands of Chinese travelers a day. 

Most of them enter Vietnam through the Mong Cai International Border Gate. They are carried inland on 45-seat buses. Each tour lasts two days and one night, or three days and two nights. 

Most of them enter Vietnam through the Mong Cai International Border Gate. They are carried inland on 45-seat buses. Each tour lasts two days and one night, or three days and two nights. 

When Chinese arrive in Ha Long City, they stay in low-cost guesthouses with the rate of VND200,000-300,000 per head. Each room may contain 5-6 travelers. Travelers are served spare meals with little fish and meat, and have to pay additional money if they order seafood.

Because of the high number of travelers, the excursion points in Ha Long Bay are usually overloaded. When reporters set foot on Titov Island, they saw many travelers jostling in a small area at the harbor. 

Other excursion points in Ha Long such as Sung Sot, Thien Cung and Luon Caves are also full of visitors. Travelers sometimes have to queue up for several hours to be able to enter the caves.

After lunchtime, when travelers have spare meals or banh my (bread) and water, travelers are led to go shopping. The shops serve Chinese travelers. 

Travelers have to wear name tags to be able to enter the shops. Many shops like these were forced to shut down one year ago. However, many others have opened since then. 


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Thanh Lich

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