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Vietnam: Officials Clamp Down on Ha Long Bay Tourist Harassment

By Larry Habegger and Laurie Weed | Permalink | No Comments | September 26th, 2012 | Trackback

Authorities have banned tour boats from stopping at “floating villages” in Ha Long Bay, a recently voted World Heritage Site, after receiving numerous reports of tourist rip-offs and harassment. Overcharging and browbeating have become common occurrences during these stops, and some locals have been known to chase tourists back to the boats, demanding money. One boat captain was seriously injured while trying to intervene on behalf of a passenger. Since the visits are popular with tourists, many of the boats continue to stop in spite of the ban. Officials have implemented an inspection process that would allow visits to approved sites, but it is unclear how they would monitor the estimated 650 fishing houses that float in the bay.

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