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Vietnam province closes popular jungle resort for environmental pollution

By Chan Nhan   June 1, 2017 | 10:32 am GMT+7
Vietnam province closes popular jungle resort for environmental pollution
A corner at at the illegal Pu Luong Retreat in Thanh Hoa Province. Photo by VnExpress

The retreat has been in service for around a year without a permit.

Authorities in the central province of Thanh Hoa have closed a polluting tourism complex that was built without planning permission in the middle of the jungle.

Officials said construction of the Pu Luong Retreat in Ba Thuoc District started in early 2016 and some parts have already opened to tourists. Details of how the jungle has been damaged have not been specified.

Thanh Hoa has ordered local officials to fine the investor.

The area has not been earmarked for tourism but the province said it would consider granting a license if the investor files an application.

Pu Luong Retreat has been on the local tourism map for more than a year. Standing in a quiet jungle with wooden bungalows and an outdoor swimming pool facing mountains and beautiful terraced fields, the retreat has drawn many tourists from Hanoi. It has also been featured on many travel sites, including TripAdvisor.

The environment and tourism collide across many parts of Vietnam and usually the former is only saved through repeated public outcry. Just earlier this week, the northern province of Quang Ninh ordered inspectors to look into media reports that several resorts have been built in Bai Tu Long Bay, the lesser-known but just as magnificent neighbor of Ha Long Bay.

Despite construction restrictions, sources said the resorts have been operating on several islands in the protected bay for almost a decade.