A resort in Nha Trang which faces a fine for not allowing residents and tourists to walk on a beach adjacent to it has triggered adverse reactions among the public, who said that such a violation is not an isolated case in tourist cities across Vietnam. Authorities in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa are considering a VND30 million (US$1,398) fine on Evason Ana Mandara Resort, situated on Tran Phu Street in its capital city of Nha Trang, for prohibiting tourists and city dwellers from strolling on a beach close to the resort.
Ngo Khac Thinh, vice head of Nha Trang’s Urban Management Office, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday that his office had proposed the fine to the city People’s Committee.
The warden booths on the beach are also likely to be removed within 10 days from May 4, when the minutes of the violation were made.
Thinh stressed that the resort banning residents and tourists from walking on “its” beach is wholly wrong and intolerable as beaches are public space.
On Wednesday, Pham Duy Hung, a representative of the Member Board of Sovico Khanh Hoa Co., which manages Evason Ana Mandara Resort, told Tuoi Tre that the resort’s warden booths were set up in 1997 to ensure safety for local residents and tourists and facilitate rescue efforts.
They thus sought permission from the Urban Management Office to retain such booths.
A security guard of Evason Ana Mandara Resort is pictured on May 6, 2015 while he was trying to stop a foreigner from "intruding" on a beach next to the resort. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Hung maintained that his resort has always “facilitated” locals and tourists in taking strolls on the beach.
Several Tuoi Tre readers ironically pondered what position Hung is in to “facilitate” locals and tourists in strolling along the beach.
Many said such “territorial claiming” acts are rife among resorts and hotels based in coastal cities and provinces throughout the country, including Da Nang in the central region, Binh Thuan in the south-central region and Can Gio, an outlying district of Ho Chi Minh City.
Tourists take a bath on a beach in the central city of Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The owners of such hotels and resorts occupy road areas, “zone” and build facilities on the beaches as if the areas were their own.
They erect warden booths and barriers to stop those who are not their clients from setting foot on the beaches or force them to walk on the water’s edge.
Tourists have to buy tickets to certain areas on the beaches even though such areas are evidently public space.
Many raised questions of whether the owners of such resorts are “backed” by local authorities.
Tran Trong Nam, a naval soldier currently stationed in the northern province of Quang Ninh, home to the UNESCO-recognized Ha Long Bay, lamented that such claims are also rampant on beaches throughout the province.
Those who unknowingly rest beneath umbrellas or in sheds which mushroom on the beaches will be charged high prices.
Senhoa, a Tuoi Tre reader, divulged that she and her family were about to spread a nylon sheet in a shady spot on a beach in Ho Chi Minh City’s Can Gio District to sit on when a group of people aggressively approached, claiming they had rented the entire area.
The “gangsters” demanded payment from Senhoa and her family, forcing them to sit in the blazing sun when they refused to pay.