Round up: Vedan Pollution Investigation + Storm Warning

Sorry to be so quiet lately - its been a bit mental what with packing and finishing things up at work.

There is a major storm approaching the North of Vietnam so take care on your travels - boat trips are certainly out and trains to the North West may be affected. Tourists in areas likely to be hit by severe weather such as Sapa are advised to return to Hanoi.

In a fortunate piece of timing, Adam Bray at Vietnam Travel Notes, famous for his marathon cyclo journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh in aid of the street childrens' charity KoTo, has reminded us about his free travel guide to Hanoi as a PDF download that is definately worth checking out, particularly if you like to pop things onto a mobile or ipod for reading on the move. Perfect for learning more about Hanoi, especially if the weather means you'll be there for more days than you had planned!

Big in the news in Vietnam has been the legal action against Vedan, a manufacturer of MSG, for repeated pollution of the Thi Vai river. It appears a secret tunnel was built to discharge untreated waste, and the fines could amount to as much as $5.5 million. (VIR)

According to the VIR article the government is considering closing several industrial parks that have failed to implement waste treatment facilities, and tightening up on licences for new industrial areas. Its good to see such an important issue getting such wide coverage, lets hope this is the start of more environmentally aware phase of Vietnam's development.