‘Famous, beautiful’ Mekong Delta beach gets ugly

By Hoang Nam    November 1, 2018 | 02:06 am PT
The Tan Thanh Beach in Tien Giang Province has been trashed and dirtied, and tourists are avoiding the place.
The embankment has been damaged. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam 

Waves have broken the embankment and the seawater is dirty. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam 

Nguyen Thi Thoa of Ho Chi Minh City could not believe her eyes.

“Some information I found on the Internet said that this is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the area, so I came here with my family.

“I did not expect it could be this bad. The beach water is dirty, we can’t swim. We took some pictures and left.”

That Thoa could even take some pictures should be a matter of  surprise.

The Tan Thanh Beach in Go Cong Dong District, southern Tien Giang Province, barely exists now.

There are just two restaurants in the area on firm ground. Other constructions, like the parking lots and cafés are a shabby sight.

The 50-meter embankment in front of the restaurants has been damaged by the waves and dirty seawater often spills on to the walking paths.

The huts on the beach, originally used for resting or serving beverages, are deserted and covered by weeds. A wooden bridge and its thatched leaf roof are damaged.

Worst, the land area in front of the beach is covered with trash, and the smell is disgusting.

The wharf, which extends hundreds of meters, is severly degraded with peeling concrete and broken bricks. Its handrail are just broken with rusted metal bars. The lamp posts on the wharf are broken, too. The light bulbs have cracked and wires stick out.

Plastic bags, plastic bottles and litter are piled up all over the wharf floor.

The beach is full of trash. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam 

Some sections of the beach are a digusting sight, with waves deposting trash that is never picked. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam 

Doan Thanh Hung, Chairman of the Tan Thanh Ward People’s Committee, had only this to offer: "We will continue to raise awareness of locals to keep the area clean.”

He said there were five restaurants “opposite to the tourism area, some of which discharge waste from the toilet directly into the sea.”

Hung expressed his hope that higher authorities would call for investment to improve local conditions to attract more tourists.

In 2017, the area attracted nearly 50,000 visitors, mostly at the weekend. Since the embankment was damaged, tourist numbers have reduced by 30 percent, he said.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has acknowledged the beach’s condition.

A department representative said: "The department has been scrutinizing the condition and planning repairs. Restoration of the embankment requires technical support from government and will be prioritized."

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