Following over a month of delay, Bui Vien Walking Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker area’ is set to have its grand opening tonight, August 20.
Located in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, the city’s newest pedestrian street is scheduled to debut on Sunday night, offering local residents and tourists a wide variety of entertainment activities.
The promenade stretches 850 meters long from the Bui Vien intersection with Tran Hung Dao-Nguyen Thai Hoc Streets to Cong Quynh Street.
During the opening night, two stages will be set up in front of 33 and 204 Bui Vien Street for a series of artistic performances, alongside such activities as street cuisine, sports, and folk games.
Since July 15, the People’s Committee in District 1 has piloted a vehicle ban from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am on weekends, while the renovation of sidewalks along the road had also been carried out.
Additional efforts will be exerted to upgrade the alleys located within the walking street to create a greener, cleaner, and more esthetic urban face.
Residents and businesses along the section of Bui Vien Street have expressed their support for the project, many of whom stated that their revenue had increased by 50 percent thanks to the vehicle ban.
|People walk on Bui Vien Street on August 19, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
According to Le Tan Dat, chairman of the administration in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, business activities on Bui Vien Street are bustling both day and night.
While diners, coffee shops, clothing stores, and souvenir shops are open to customers in the morning and afternoon, restaurants, bars, and pubs bring a more dynamic atmosphere to the street from the evening until midnight.
Foreign visitors have dubbed the destination a ‘cheap beer area,’ ‘busy street,’ or ‘backpacker land,’ Dat said, adding that establishing the walking street would help preserve its uniqueness and better manage local business activities.
A total of 146 businesses are operating on Bui Vien Street, said Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, vice-chairwoman of District 1.
Among them are 23 hotels, 25 diners, 15 coffee shops, 33 souvenir, handicraft, and clothing stores, 14 pubs, nine beer bars, 12 salons, eight travel agents, and some other facilities.
|Vehicles are banned from the walking street from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am every weekend. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Opening specialized streets has been an emerging trend in Ho Chi Minh City, improving trade and services as well as creating distinctive tourism products.
In District 5, jewelry streets were introduced in April 2017 and streets specialized in eastern medicine were opened in December 2016.
Businesses in these areas reported a 20 to 50 percent increase in revenue and many opportunities to offer their products to domestic and foreign tourists.
In late April 2015, Nguyen Hue, the city’s first walking street, was open to visitors and has become a favorite hang-out spot for both locals and tourists.
Nguyen Van Binh, the city’s book street, has also been a regular stop for local book lovers and enthusiasts.