Vietnam orders a cut in entrance fees to world-renowned caves

By N.Tran Tam, Thanh Nien News

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The Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave in the central province of Quang Binh. File photo

Vietnam’s tourism authority has asked the central province of Quang Binh to bring entrance fees at its world famous caves back to the original level, following a steep increase heavily protested by travel agencies.
The move came with bad timing, as Vietnam was in the middle of a campaign to boost tourism, the agency said. 
Quang Binh should consider increasing the fees at a different time, and even offering discounts to local tourists, it added. 
Early this month local tour operators complained about the province’s doubling ticket prices at the Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, which boasts a series of caves that have made global headlines since being discovered by a group of British explorers in 2009. 
Entrance to Thien Duong (Paradise), for instance, now costs VND125,000 (US$5.83) for children and VND250,000 ($11.67) for adults, compared to VND60,000-120,000 previously.
Ticket prices to Phong Nha and Tien Son caves have also shot from VND40,000-80,000 to VND80,000-150,000.
The province’s authority claimed that they needed more money to maintain the caves.

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