Tourists can go kayaking again in Ha Long Bay this May

By Vy An   April 27, 2017 | 05:10 pm GMT+7

Local authorities have asked that kayak services be added to the list of tourism products featured in eight registered attractions.

The authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh have allowed tourism operators in Ha Long to resume their kayak services this May in several designated attractions around the world-renowned bay, following a controversial ban last month. 

The ban has faced widespread backlash from the public and tourism operators, prompting the local authorities to quickly reconsider their decision. The services have drawn fire over accusations of overcharging, damaging the image of the bay.

The Quang Ninh People's Committee has asked that kayak services be added to the list of tourism products featured in eight registered attractions around Ha Long Bay.  

Tourism operators must ensure safety conditions, register with the authorities, and sign contracts with Ha Long Bay Management Board for permission to offer the service, the committee said.

The provincial government had earlier instructed Ha Long to chalk out plans to run sporting services in the bay, including kayaking and rowing, by 2020.

There are currently over 1,400 kayaks in Ha Long Bay.

The bay, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994, is one of Vietnam's top attractions. It has around 1,600 islands and islets that form a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.

The U.K.-based travel site Rough Guides has recently listed the bay among the top 10 UNESCO Heritage Sites in Asia.