Mekong province to remove 10 homestays built illegally on sacred mountain

By Ngoc Tai   September 21, 2023 | 02:41 am PT
Mekong province to remove 10 homestays built illegally on sacred mountain
A homestay is under construction on Cam Mountain in An Giang Province, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai
Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang have been asked to demolish 10 homestays illegally built on forest land in Cam Mountain.

There were a number of landslides along Cam Mountain in Tinh Bien Town last month following heavy rains.

Authorities determined that most of the illegal homestays, built on steep slopes with temporary structures having poor load-bearing capacity, pose safety risks in the rainy season.

Illegal construction on the mountain, home to Buddhist pagodas and sacred temples, has flourished since last year.

Despite authorities' warnings, these homestays have remained in operation.

At the end of 2022, An Giang Province decided to let these projects exist on the condition that the current status quo be maintained and assigned Tinh Bien authorities to manage these homestays.

Therefore, when Tinh Bien authorities asked them to stop operating and proposed forced dismantling, the homestay owners objected.

According to the Cam Mountain Tourist Area management, the homestays serve around 7,000 visitors a day and cost VND300,000-500,000.

Le Trung Hieu, director of the An Giang Investment and Trade Promotion Center, said authorities should consider allowing the construction of accommodation facilities on Cam Mountain for the large number of pilgrims who come, also helping improve local people's incomes.

But this requires careful planning to ensure safety.

At more than 700 m, Cam is the highest mountain in the Mekong Delta.

Endowed with spectacular terrain, it is famous for trekking and known as the Da Lat of the Mekong Delta with its year-round cool climate.

A 3.5-kilometer cable car was installed in 2015 to take pilgrims to the top.

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