The expansion of tourism in Vietnam has been spectacular, growing from just ten thousand foreign visitors in 1993 to more than five million in 2010. In addition, an estimated 25 million Vietnamese now take holidays within the country each year. While this has undoubtedly been a boon for the economy, tourism has brought with it serious and potentially disruptive effects environmentally, socially, culturally and economically. Some of the most distressing examples are to be found in Vietnam’s ethnic minority areas. Sa Pa’s famous “love market” attracted so much tourist attention it eventually relocated to a more remote location. Many families in the area have sold off their antique jewellery, while Hmong children beg for sweets, pens and money, and some even sell drugs.

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7 places to get off the tourist trail in Vietnam

7 places to get off the tourist trail in Vietnam

The verdant limestone stacks of Ha Long Bay and the bustling streets of Hanoi are well established (and essential) stops along Vietnam’s tourist trail. But th…

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The best aerial views in the world

Got a head for heights? If you're craving a new perspective on your travels, the best thing to do is get up high. From mountain-top panoramas to cityscapes, her…

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Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

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