Controversial mountain pass restaurant asked to suspend operations

By Staff reporters   January 19, 2021 | 03:05 pm GMT+7
A restaurant in Ha Giang Province’s well-known Ma Pi Leng pass has been asked to close temporarily once more, pending correction of construction violations.
Controversial mountain pass restaurant asked to suspend operations

The Ha Giang People’s Committee has agreed with the construction department’s proposal to shut down the establishment until they can adjust the design and construction as required by authorities, Le Thanh Son, deputy director of the department, said on Monday.

Accordingly, they need to knock off half of all four floors that overhang the mountain slope and toward the Nho Que River. The roof must also be fixed to reduce the height of the building.

The order came after the media reported that the owners had not made the changes demanded by authorities on environmental grounds.

The pictures above show the structure remains virtually unchanged (left) after so-called changes.

Controversial mountain pass restaurant asked to suspend operations

Workers are changing the Panorama restaurant's roof on January 13.

The restaurant-cafe-hostel was illegally built in 2018 and opened a year later. Since then, it has made headlines for not having an investment license and a land-use change license. How this happened has not been explained by the authorities.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism later adjudged that the building was located outside the Ma Pi Leng National Site, but it’s situated in the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, an area where construction activities are restricted to purposes like security, tourism and essential infrastructure and a height of three floors.

Controversial mountain pass restaurant asked to suspend operations

Renovation work began in July 2020. In December, when the department sent inspectors to check the renovation, they certified that the roof had been removed as instructed. But it was rebuilt afterward and the building's height went back to the old level.

The only evident change is that the red and grey paint has been replaced with stone cladding, and the tiles on the roof were replaced with metal sheets.

Controversial mountain pass restaurant asked to suspend operations

The restaurant did not close during the repairs earlier, and continued to sell beverages and local specialties.

Controversial mountain pass restaurant asked to suspend operations

Ha Giang in northern Vietnam is entering the tourist season, and many visitors stopped by the restaurant every day.

 
 
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