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Snow draws crowds to Sa Pa, officials suspend Fansipan tour for safety

Officials from Vietnam’s northern highlands have ordered travel firms to suspend all tours to the country’s highest peak Fansipan as a heavy cold spell starting freezing the area.
A statement from the management board of Hoang Lien National Park said all tours to Fansipan, a 3,143-meter (10,311 feet) mountain that rises above Sa Pa and all hiking activities around the resort town between January 23 and 27 must be cancelled for safety reason.
The order came as tourists kept flocking to the northern highlands with an attempt to enjoy the rare chill on mountain tops.
Travel firms said they have given tourists a refund and kept them around Sa Pa town, which has also seen a lot of snow from early Sunday with temperature dropping to minus 2 degrees Celsius.
Snow occasionally appears in Sa Pa and other places in the northern highlands, drawing a lot of curious foreign and local tourists every time. Snow blanketed the area just more than a month ago.
Temperatures in Hanoi, Hai Phong and northern plains have dropped to around eight degrees the past days while southern Vietnam has been forecast to be chilly at 17 degrees the coming week.

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