Part of the Le Mont Bavi Resort and Spa located in the Ba Vi National Park, which is home to a biodiversity reserve with large areas of primeval forest. Photo: Ngoc Thang
Work on a luxury resort inside a national park on the outskirts of Hanoi has been suspended, following media reports that the controversial project has not been licensed.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat has ordered the Forest Management Department to investigate the construction of Le Mont Bavi Resort and Spa on the mountain range Ba Vi, home to a biodiversity reserve with large areas of primeval forest.
The action came after local media published photos showing that the 4-star resort is almost finished on the mountain, at the height of 600 meters. Villas and rooms are advertised at high prices of up to VND4 million (US$180) a night.
Construction started in 2014 and now swimming pools, karaoke parlors and spas are already available, according to media reports.
How the developer, Hanoi-based Company For Technology Development, managed to build the massive project without a license remains a question.
Tuoi Tre newspaper reported that the company inked a deal with the national park in 2011, promising to offer VND8 billion ($360,000) to secure the land use rights for 50 years.
Do Huu The, deputy director of Ba Vi National Park, was quoted by Tuoi Tre as saying the project is not illegal because Vietnam allows tourism projects to be developed inside forests.
Luong Ngoc Anh, director of the company, told Lao Dong newspaper that the project has not been approved by the agriculture ministry.
A resort amid the jungle in Ba Vi National Park in Hanoi. Photo credit: Zing.vn