Bui Vien was packed with visitors amid a vibrant atmosphere on Sunday night, when the popular thoroughfare in Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker area’ was officially turned into a walking street.
During the grand opening of the latest promenade in the southern metropolis, visitors strolled along the 850-meter street, from the Bui Vien intersection with Tran Hung Dao-Nguyen Thai Hoc Streets to Cong Quynh Street, with restaurants, beer parlors and street food stalls filling the sidewalks.
Highlights of the Bui Vien Walking Street include two stages erected in front of the 33 and 202-204 houses, showcasing traditional music and multiple artistic performances.
“As a walking street, Bui Vien will be more civil and safer than before,” Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration, said during the opening ceremony.
“We are certain that security and the business environment will be much better than before.”
Since July 15, the District 1 administration has piloted a vehicle ban from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am on weekends, while renovation of the sidewalks along the road had also been carried out.
As the walking street was embraced by locals and tourists, people who do business along Bui Vien are also more than happy as their sales soared with a rise in the number of visitors.
“We hope the walking street will remain open all week long rather than only on weekends,” one local said.
Bui Vien is the second promenade to open in Ho Chi Minh City, following Nguyen Hue Walking Street fronting the municipal edifice.
Bui Vien is one of several streets making up the so-called ‘backpacker area’ in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1.
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 other facilities.
Establishing it as a walking street would help preserve Bui Vien’s uniqueness and better manage local business activities, according to Pham Ngu Lao Ward chairman Le Tan Dat.
Below are some photos of the opening night of Bui Vien Walking Street.
|A team of martial artists is seen during a performance.|
|A traditional music band|
|Models are seen during an 'ao dai' show.|
|An 'ao dai' model wows visitors.|
|A traditional music band is pictured during a performance.|
|A circus artist in action|
|People queue to get free beer.|
|A tourist enjoys freebie beer.|
|A restaurant with well organized furniture on the sidewalk.|
|Locals are seen at the Bui Vien Walking Street.|
|Foreign tourists stroll along the walking street.|
|Children ride bicycles on Bui Vien.|
|Foreign tourists fill sidewalk beer shops along the street.|
|Chidlren enjoy their own ride on the street.|
|Visitors leisurely walk along Bui Vien.|