Halong cave stalactites damaged by tourism

Cave in Halong bay

Cave in Halong bay

The issue of cave dining in Halong bay is still hot then came the problem of many stalactites in the grottoes were destroyed.

Halong Bay was twice recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site, it is one of the new seven natural wonders of the world. Tourists to Halong bay are attracted by the three elements of stone, water and sky. It has thousands of islands along with the blue of the sea make up the giant picture, However to attract more travelers we cannot but mention the abundant cave system that is focused in the heritage center.

Recently, the problem many caves in the heritage core zone of Halong bay such as Trong cave, Tien Ong Cave, Virgin grotto, Dong Tien lagoon being used as a dining place has drawn attention of public opinion and heated the social forums. Soon the authorities of Ha Long City and Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee had measures to terminate the dining services in the cave from the date of 30th October 2016.

However, once again the public opinion rose again about the disappearance of stalactites in caves in Ha Long Bay such as Tien Ong, Trong caves. In the small caves in the area of Cap La stalagmites have lost with signs of being cut out. The remaining stalactites had moss as an impact of man by the consequences of the use of the cave as a place to organize dining service is still left.

Cap Be cave is located at a height of 50 meters over sea level, the cave entrance is about 60 meters wide and about 50 meters long inside, the cave ceiling height of about 3m. Many stalactites here have signs of tips being cut, debris scattered on the cave floor.

Pham Dinh Huynh – Deputy Head of Halong Bay management – said, as soon as the information on stalactites in caves on Ha Long Bay are cut down, the inspection team was set up including Halong Bay Management Department, the Department of Culture and Sports of Quang Ninh province, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Quang Ninh province, the Department of Information and Communications, police in Quang Ninh, Ha Long city People’s Committee and press agencies went on examination of the places, however the results showed no stalactites being cut in the cave (?).

No one can be sure when the stalactites lost, there are many reasons that lead to the collapse in the caves, maybe due to geological development. Before Halong bay was recognized as a heritage there was not standing guards on the bay and the problem of destroying the stalactites still happened, however those are separate cases and not exploited and sold as bonsai, people just liked a stone shoot and broke it. Since the recognition of Halong bay we deployed the guards almost 24 hours on the bay and the problem no longer occurred.

Reporting on the results of examination, identifying the location of destroyed stalactites in the caves, Ha Long Bay Management Board stated: “The destruction of stalactites in caves on Ha Long Bay did occur, however, this problem had occurred before Halong Bay was recognized as a world natural heritage. Since 1995, the Ha Long Bay Management Board was established, under which 5 centers of heritage conservation were formed with a total of 130 staff working directly at the points at sea and in collaboration with some 80 collaborators who are organizations and individuals participating in economic activities on the bay to to perform administrative tasks, protecting the heritage value of Ha Long Bay, including protection of the caves. In addition, the team also handled violations on the bay with a total of 13 officers participating in patrolling all areas Halong Bay”.

Currently Halong bay has discovered nearly 60 caves, in which 8 caves are put into tourism operation, other caves are closed to preserve value. During 20 years of implementing the tasks of managing, conserving and promoting the values ??of the World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay, the Ha Long Bay Management Board has not detected any cases of abuse, destruction of stone shoots in the caves in the bay” the report stated.

Measures applied by Ha Long Bay Management Board in the conservation of stalactites in caves are also mentioned in the report: “For the caves being exploited for tourism: Based on detailed planning on conservation and promotion of the value of world natural heritage Ha Long Bay, the current regulation on implementing measures. Every year, Ha Long Bay management Board in collaboration with the Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources deployed investigation, search, evaluate the current situation in the cave, from which propose solutions that manage, conserve and promote sustainable value for each cave, choose the cave with large scale, aesthetic value, scientific to gradually build the Profile management to serve the management, conservation and sustainable promotion of ??cave values”.

Although Ha Long Bay Management Board has confirmed there has been no destruction of stalactites in the caves, but this also poses the problem of remediation, conservation of stalactites in caves in Halong Bay and effective measures to promote the value of preserving world heritage. Because, in order to promote conservation of the heritage value of Ha Long Bay there is no room for indifference.


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