Plastic Vietnam…

Beautiful nature, great food, and lovely people… Vietnam is a great holiday destination. Thousands of tourists choose this country as their holiday destination. That is definitely great news for Vietnam and its still developing economy. But is it good for the environment?

I’ve spent in Vietnam over 3 weeks and with all love I have to this beautiful country and lovely people… something draws my attention much more than breathtaking landscapes… something disturbed it A LOT!

We all talk about how we should start taking care of our environment… reduce the use of plastic, organize our rubbish, recycle! However, … do we really do that? Or is it just 1% of us that actually follow the idea of taking care of our planet.

My visit to Vietnam showed me how big is that problem… and how we all don’t really do much about helping the planet…

Halong Bay – the beautiful victim of tourism

I was super excited to visit Halong Bay… I expected stunning views and nice, warm, clean water.

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And the views were amazing… this is a real wonder of nature… however…you can’t focus on this stunning landscape without noticing tons (seriously – TONS) of rubbish and oil stains in the water. Plastic bottles, chips bags, flip-flops…you name it – it’s there.

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During the cruise, I booked we had a few stops for kayaking and swimming. After what I saw in the water… I didn’t really feel the need for swimming. I did try kayaking and it just made me feel depressed how we are ruining this amazing natural wonder!

1030697All white spots you can see on the water are the pieces of plastic bottles, bags etc…1030705

Kayaking in rubbish doesn’t seem like a nice activity.

Unfortunately, I think a big part of the rubbish comes not only from tourists but from fisherman and locals…

Beautiful landscapes are ruined by rubbish everythwere…

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And this is just 2 of hundreds of tiny beaches ruined by rubbish…

On almost every photo – you can see smaller or larger pieces of plastic or other rubbish

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Hoi An – city full of lanterns

Lanterns are beautiful… I still remember this fashion of sending paper lanterns into the sky… Everyone loved it… until we found out that they not only can cause a fire, but they are simply a flying piece of rubbish.

All kinds of lanterns are a lovely trademark of Hoi An. Restaurants, houses, and boats are decorated with lanterns various shapes and colors. It’s without a doubt a nice, impressive view. Hoi An is just amazing! In the evening, the little town by the river shines with beautiful lantern light.

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A very popular attraction of Hoi An evening are little colorful paper trays with candles that you buy from a lovely old lady and simply place on the river. They decorate the water with lights…. it’s without a doubt beautiful view.

I was thinking about it… after seeing full of plastic Halong Bay and dirty streets of Hanoi… I wanted to check if anyone is collecting these paper lanterns from the river at the end of the night.

Unfortunately…during the day you can still see a lot of colorful paper lanterns floating in water or on the site of the river… I’m not sure if they have any plastic in them, but the amount of rubbish that they create each night is gigantic! There are hundreds of them on a side of the river.

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How can we help?

I know the way of thinking of most of the tourists is – “oh no…they don’t take care of their country, it’s so dirty here”. But why do we help with creating more rubbish?

We can all stop or at least limit the amount of the rubbish in Vietnamese waters, and our all waters?

  • CLEAN AFTER YOURSELF

You might not realize, but each piece of paper, each plastic bag you use, accumulates – we create the enormous amount of rubbish – just remember it not only in your everyday life but also when you travel.

  • WHEN YOU SEE A PIECE OF RUBBISH AND YOU ARE NEAR THE BIN – PICK IT UP.

When walking on the beach, or sightseeing on a busy city street… we sometimes can see a piece of plastic bag or bottle laying not far away from the rubbish bin. Why not pick it up? If each of us would do that once a day – streets would be much cleaner.

  • DON’T BUY TOURISTY RUBBISH THAT WILL POLLUTE EARTH LIKE LANTERNS ETC.

This is important. Beautiful flying or floating lanterns might look nice for 5 minutes of their life… but they end up on trees, in water, and they pollute our World. Think this through… this is just a fun touristy attraction but what does it really do instead of 1-minute attraction. You better off spending your money on some nice street food meal.

  • WATCH AND LEARN

The best way of helping the environment is to read and watch. This topic is very popular now. Just stop and watch movies (eg. “Plastic Ocean”), youtube videos, or read articles and blogs about it. You might not even realize how big the problem is.

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11 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Wow, thank you for sharing. I recently spent a week in Kenya and noticed the accumulation of rubbish in the streets (mainly the slums). This post is very conscientious and needed. I think it’s valuable to raise an awareness to the issue and our role in preserving these areas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Danica Anne Panganiban

    Oh God. I was here nearly three years ago and it wasn’t as much as this. It’s really depressing. This is one the reason why our Boracay Island has been shit down. A once beautiful island that has become a party island and dump site. I am happy to read such a honest article like this that doesn’t only want to create another demand for just seeing the place. =)

    Like

  3. theunconventionalgrasshopper

    Wow! I’m so shocked.
    I went to Halong Bay a couple of years ago and fortunately did not encounter all this rubbish! This is so bad!!
    There is no excuse for using plastic anymore and no excuse for buying disposable items! We have all the alternatives we need!

    Like

  4. CarolCooks2

    Islands here are being closed down because of damage by tourism But I totally agree with you everyone needs to take responsibility, the locals, tourists, fishermen and the big liners who I am told dump their rubbish at sea …It is a major problem but I also think governments and manufacturers need to be leading this as they make the damn plastic or give out operating licences 🙂 A good post 🙂

    Like

  5. Kate

    Very eye-opening piece, especially when you showed the before and after pictures with the paper lanterns. The town that I grew up in is a beach town which attracts a lot of tourists and unfortunately they leave behind a lot of garbage which pollutes the ocean. We all must do our part to preserve the natural beauty of locations which we visit as well as the ones we inhabit year-round.

    Like

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