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Sorry tourists, no more deck view of Ha Long Bay

By Minh Cuong   June 13, 2016 | 06:47 am PT
Ship owners in Ha Long Bay used rope and wooden boards to seal decks, upsetting tourists who paid handsomely but were denied from a decent sightseeing experience.

Photo by VnExpress/Minh Cuong

Since a week ago, many ship owners have taken any means possible, be it rope, wooden boards or bamboo sticks, to prevent guests from getting on upper decks for sightseeing.

Nguyen Van Nam, 40, a tourist, said he had to pay dearly to hire a ship to visit Ha Long Bay only to sit in the narrow lower deck with limited view while the upper deck was strictly forbidden. "Before there was no ban like this. Now that the ban is on, we won't return," said Nam. 

On June 6, Ha Long People’s Committee requested ship owners not to allow tourists to stand or sit on the sides and the part of ship called 'mui tau' in Vietnamese, which can be understood as the cover over the ship. According to VnExpress sources, the confusion in defining the word 'mui tau' led to a spontaneous ban of mounting upper decks. Any ship failing to comply with the request will get a ten-day suspension and six months for backsliding.

Vu Van Hop, Chief of Office at People’s Committee of Quang Ninh Province told VnExpress on June 13 that the ban is not the province’s policy. “After a boat capsized in Da Nang, the captains and crew have been more cautious, exercising the ban of mounting ship decks on their own. If the ships see fit, they can let clients climb, if not, they will impose restrictions,” said Hop.

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