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Tourists flock to see rare sight of snow in Sa Pa

Update: December, 16/2013 - 08:28
Snow covers all of Sapa Town in Lao Cai Province. The snowfall led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight. — VNA/VNS Photos Van Thang

LAO CAI (VNS) — Sa Pa Town in the northern province of Lao Cai, a major national tourist attraction, wears an even more attractive look now with snowfall of more than five centimetres.

Officials of the Nui Xe Forest Management Station in the town's Hoang Lien National Park say the snowfall has led to constant traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands of tourists flock to the town to admire the rare sight.

While it has been known for long that it snows in Sa Pa, this is not a common occurrence.

The Nui Xe Station said that it began snowing at around 9am yesterday.

It said that at a height of over 1,900m above sea level, temperatures had dipped to as low as minus two degrees Celsius, forming icy sheets 10-20cm thick.

Average temperature in Sa Pa remained low yesterday at about minus one degree Celsius, with constant heavy smog and drizzle.

Earlier, on Thursday, the province experienced heavy downpours of 30-50cm, and temperatures in Sa Pa dropped then to 5-7 degrees Celsius.

According to the Lao Cai Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Centre, another cold spell is expected to hit the province in the coming days.

The centre has also warned of strong winds, whirlwinds and hail storms that could threaten the lives and properties of residents.

Meanwhile, northern Viet Nam as a whole has experienced intense cold weather with temperatures ranging between 17 and 11 degrees Celsius. The temperature has dropped to below 10 degrees Celsius in a few mountainous areas, weather experts have said.

Provinces and cities in the north have also experienced mild to heavy rains over the last few days.

The National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting yesterday echoed provincial warnings that mountainous areas in the north should be prepared for the possibility of tornadoes, hailstorms and strong winds.

It said that the cold weather would extend to the central region and some places on the south-central coast today. — VNS

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