Many photos and videos of a garbage-filled Da Lat, a popular tourist destination dubbed the ‘city of flowers’ in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, have gone viral on social media after Tet, or the Lunar New Year festival.
Following the week-long public holiday, which began on February 16, multiple streets and famous landscapes in the tourist city have been overwhelmed with trash.
This is not the first time Da Lat has been buried under a large amount of rubbish at the end of a large-scale national holiday such as Tet.
“Littering became serious on February 12, four days before the Lunar New Year,” Quang Truong, a resident in Da Lat, said, adding that the situation has not only affected the city’s urban esthetics but also left a bad impression on visitors.
This is an alarming issue as the city’s development relies mainly on tourism and related services, Truong remarked.
Le Thanh Duy, a young citizen, recounted his conversation with Tom, a foreign visitor, after he had just arrived in Da Lat on the early morning of February 21, or the sixth day of the Lunar New Year fest.
“Tom first asked me for directions to his hotel, before saying he was shocked by the trash-filled streets,” Duy stated.
Da Lat is not the only victim, Duy continued, adding that most touristy places in Vietnam suffer the same problem after a big holiday.
“The issue seemed to be worse in Da Lat because the city has long been dubbed the 'city of flowers' and nature,” the young resident explained.
Visitors are not the only ones to blame as some local residents and vendors have been caught littering, he added.
|Le Thanh Duy’s post is shared by a Facebook user in this screenshot.|
Saving the city
Many youngsters have volunteered to clean up trash at popular locations in the city.
However, they admitted that such activities do not have a long-term effect.
“After we finished picking up rubbish, everything seems to go back to the way they were the following day,” Tran Minh Hoang, a volunteer said.
Hoang and his team have decided to use the power of social media to raise awareness of the situation in Da Lat.
“This should have been done a long time ago. The images of a garbage-filled Da Lat will force people to make a change to save the city,” Hoang said.
|A sweeper cleans up a street in Da Lat. Photo: Thanh Duy|
“When there is hope, there is a way,” he added.
Being a photography enthusiast, Duy also considered that the approach would be effective.
“The photos reflect the truth, as well as the consequences of thoughtless actions,” he elaborated.
Duy has recently posted several pictures and videos of the dirty Da Lat Market in the early morning on Facebook, which were shared by a lot of users.
“I didn’t expect my post to receive that much attention,” Duy said.