The tourist town of Sapa’s image has been damaged by the poor quality of its roads.
For many years, people in Sapa have been living with badly maintained roads which are covered by dust on a sunny day, and slippery on rainy days.
Dien Bien Phu Street which is one of the main routes into the town is full of potholes, severely affecting traffic and sometimes causing traffic jams.
Ham Rong Street is a particular issue because of the potholes flooded with water after rains.
The road deterioration has been attributed to a large number of vehicles, including overloaded trucks going to the construction sites every day. It is estimated that 5,000 to 8,000 cars arrive in Sapa daily.
It is easy to see construction sites spill on the streets, hindering traffic. Meanwhile, many sections of pavements have been dug for water and electricity repairs.
Thach Tu, a local resident, said that the issue has existed for a long time, but nothing has been done to improve it.
Sapa welcomed around 2.5 million visitors in 2017, surpassing the set target of 2 million by 2020. With this growth rate, the locality is expected to serve 4 million tourists in 2020 and e million in 2030.
However, the town needs to take measures to deal with challenges, including road quality, if the town is to benefit from sustainable tourism development in the long term.