Three Vietnamese travel hotspots get an ASEAN clean chit
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Three Vietnamese travel hotspots get an ASEAN clean chit Three Vietnamese travel hotspots get an ASEAN clean chit
Vung Tau, Hue and Quy Nhon are the only three Vietnamese locations meriting the "Asean Clean Tourist City Standard 2020" recognition.

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Nhon Hai Island, 20 km away from Quy Nhon, is a beach destination with scuba diving and coral gazing as some of the activities on offer.

Photo by Trung Pham.

Beach town Vung Tau, the former imperial capital of Hue and coastal town Quy Nhon will receive the recognition at the 39th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2020) on January 16. 

The forum, a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as one tourist destination, is scheduled to be held in Brunei.

The recognition follows an inspection tour by the ASEAN Clean Tourism Standard Assessment Committee, which assesses tourist towns in the region based on seven categories: environmental management, cleanliness, waste management, awareness-building on environmental protection and cleanliness, green spaces, health safety, urban safety; and secure tourism infrastructure and facilities.

For years now, Vung Tau in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, around 125 kilometers (77 miles) from Saigon, has been a popular weekend escape in southern Vietnam, inviting visitors with its long, gentle beaches and warm waters.

Hue in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, which witnessed the rise and fall of last ruling Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), is known for many UNESCO-recognized heritages, including royal tombs, ancient palaces and pagodas.

Quy Nhon in Binh Dinh Province is also popular for its long, broad sandy beaches that have earned it the nickname "Vietnam’s Maldives." 

The town, which is located between the travel hotspots of Nha Trang and Hoi An, has itself emerged as one of the three tourism hubs of Vietnam's south central coastal region alongside with Da Nang and Nha Trang.

It is blessed with a 42 km long coastline, diverse topography comprising mountains, forests, salt marshes, plains, lagoons, lakes, rivers, peninsulas and islands, abundant seafood and other natural resources.

However experts have expressed concern at how beaches in Vietnam are being trashed at an alarming rate, and the country has the ignominy of being the fourth largest sea polluter in the world, according to the United Nations Environment Program.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last year issued a national action plan on the management of plastic waste in the ocean until 2030, aiming to fulfill the country's international commitment to resolve the issue of marine plastics. 

Vietnam will cut down 75 percent of its marine plastics and stop generating plastic waste in coastal tourist areas by 2030, the PM said.