Bai da Song Hong, a well-known rock flower garden on the bank of the Red River, has closed its door to locals and expats in Hanoi.

The closure was requested by authorities of Hanoi’s Tay Ho District after it was found to have broken the city’s regulations on preventing the outbreak of Covid-19. The owner of the site was fined VND17.5 million (US$750) for hosting hundreds of visitors last weekend, despite the pandemic spread in the capital.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, there were so many visitors who came to Red River Rock Flower Garden last weekend. Photo: Lao Dong  

It is reported that the visitors, including Vietnamese and foreigners, came to the garden last weekend for camping, having outdoor meals, and even throwing parties, flouting the rules on donning facemasks and keeping a safe distance among persons.

Nguyen Dinh Khuyen, Chairman of Tay Ho District People’s Committee, said in the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, a tourist business that allows visitors to gather in crowd is unacceptable.

“It is highly reprehensible and must be strictly punished. The garden will be closed until further notice,” Khuyen stated.

Bai da Song Hong before the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Thao Le

The garden is among the favorite tourist sites of the city. In spring and summer, there are various types of flowers in the garden, attracting a lot of people to walking along riverside trails, which are surrounded by an abundance of colors from yellow daisies to purple lilacs, while enjoying the gentle breezes of the Red River.

There are also food and drink stalls and various shops, all at a reasonable price, making it successful in attracting a lot of expats and local families around Hanoi to relax at the weekends.

Elizabeth Hopes, a Canadian expat in Hanoi, told Hanoitimes that she felt a bit sorry to hear that the travel destination had to suspend operation.

“However, it is a measure out of necessity. Hopefully, this wave of the pandemic can be quickly controlled, just like the last three waves,” she said.