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Has Sapa Lost Its Charm?

While it still looks beautiful from the air, a recent editorial penned in Lao Dong and translated by Thanh Nien paints Sapa as a town that has lost its charm.

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The author of the piece, Do Doãn Hoàng, takes aim at the town’s tourism authorities who allegedly have done little to cope with the influx of travelers over the past few years. Garbage trucks produce noxious smells, large tour busses clog streets and some hotel staffs practice shady business practices.

Hoàng also writes that hydropower projects have destroyed the area’s “beautiful springs and forests, both of which are now gone.” He adds that this has resulted in the end of once-popular homestays in ethnic villages “because who is interested in seeing dying lands?”

Check out the full piece over at Thanh Nien to read more of Hoàng’s criticisms and possible solutions.