Mui Ne, a cape in the Phan Thiet city of Binh Thuan province has become a well known destination for tourists after people from HCM City flocked there to watch the solar eclipse in 1995.
However, the investment wave, plus the landscape overexploitation both have made the neglected headland 20 years ago unrecognizable. A lot of natural landscapes have disappeared to give places to modern resorts, hotels and construction works.
The palm forest which existed in the past has been replaced by a row of resorts along the beach. Suoi Hong (Pink Stream), created by a stream going through a pink colored sand area), the natural landscape compared with the miniature of the Ha Long Bay, brilliant under the sun, with sand mounds have collapsed because of the tourists’ footsteps.
The innocent footsteps of the tourists, who tried to cross the stream to take pictures, plus the exhausted water flows (guest houses and resorts have blocked the water), both have led to the permanent disappear of the “fairy land on the desert.”
A series of beautiful waterfalls in the province of Lam Dong have also been dying gradually because of human’s activities. The image of the Gougah waterfall with dazzlingly white foams in Phu Hoi commune of Duc Trong district, located at the height of 20 meters, now only exists in the people’s memories.
The Lien Khuong waterfall, called the god’s musical instrument, has also fallen in a terrible condition when the environment there has been devastated.
Pongour, the most beautiful waterfall in the south of the Central Highlands, is now at the point of death, because the water does not run from the upper course, when the Dai Ninh hydropower plant has taken away all the water.
In an effort to rescue the waterfall, in the dry season, the waterfall developer has spent billions of dong to build a dam to store water. However, the waterfall only operates in daytime, while it turns “dead waterfall” at night.
The increasingly high demand for electricity has prompted people to build more and more hydropower plants. The plants have made the water shortage in the dry season more serious, thus having killed the waterfalls. The trees around have been chopped down, while the construction works that serve tourism have been mushrooming, devastating the landscapes – the gifts from the nature.
The uncontrolled tourism development has damaged the living environment of people and devastated their natural landscapes as well.
A lot of scenic spots have collapsed or disappeared for ever. Phu Tu Island, the symbol of the Ha Tien land in Kien Giang province collapsed in August 2008. At that time, the provincial people’s committee suggested restoring the island. However, the project has not been implemented and has fallen into oblivion.
In the western part of the southern region, the Nga Bay floating Market, which is symbol of the region’s culture, has disappeared, while the Cai Rang Market has been commercialized and lost the cultural beauty of the typical local culture.
In the north, the To Thi stone stature in Lang Son province, showing a woman waiting for her husband to return from the battlefield, has disappeared.
Phan Dinh Hue, Director of Vong Trong Viet travel firm, when talking about Sapa as a wonderful tourism destination, said Sapa has been exploited in a destructive way.