|Hoang Lien National Park has been suspended to reduce the risk of forest fires.
LAO CAI (VNS) — All tourism activities at Hoang Lien National Park in the northern province of Lao Cai have been suspended for three months to reduce the risk of forest fires.
The park's management board has announced that trekking to Fansipan, "the roof of Indochina", has also been suspended. During the suspension period, from January 24 until the end of March, no tourist agencies and tourists will be allowed to enter the park.
According to Nguyen Quang Vinh, director of the park, the recent heavy snow in the province damaged many big trees and tourist routes. The plants in the park have withered, increasing the risk of forest fires, he said.
"Our staff will clear and fix the damaged routes as well as improve fire prevention measures to secure the environment and the local people," he told online newspaper VnExpress.
During the three-month period, only forest patrols and local people who have fields inside the park will be allowed to enter the area under the forest patrol's supervision. The local people are prohibited from lighting fires in their fields.
Fansipan, the highest mountain in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range at 3,143 metres, is also the highest peak in Indochina. It is located nine kilometres southwest of Sa Pa Town, a popular tourist destination.
The area, with about 2,024 and 327 flora and fauna varieties respectively, has been recognised as one of the few ecotourism spots in Vietnam. Various tourist companies in the area offer one-to-three day trekking trips to the summit. Most tours take two or three days while some guides can take tourists on a one-day round trip. — VNS