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Saigon pedestrian street loses charm over illegal street vendors

Saigon pedestrian street loses charm over illegal street vendors

Wednesday, May 02, 2018, 19:13 GMT+7
Saigon pedestrian street loses charm over illegal street vendors
A row of street food trolleys is seen on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in Ho Chi Minh City on April 29, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, located in the heart of District 1, officially became the city’s first-ever promenade in April 2015.

Shortly after its opening, the pedestrian street has been the iconic hang-out spot for both locals and tourists in the southern metropolis, attracting many people every night and getting even more crowded on the weekend.

And the more bustling it is, the more street hawkers gather in this place to sell street food, despite prohibition from authorities.

While Nguyen Hue was originally meant to serve as a venue for pedestrians and other public activities, illegal street vendors have occupied the street for their business, leaving an ugly image of the promenade in the eyes of tourists.

Equipped with versatile tools, it is quite easy for the peddlers to leave the venue whenever law enforcement officers come, and return later when they are gone.

This ‘hide and seek’ situation can recur multiple times every evening.

Law enforcement officers acknowledge all the tricks but still fail to resolve the problem.

Whether those peddlers follow food safety and hygiene practice is also a headache for regulators.

As observed by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters on one evening in late April, the pedestrian street was packed with dozens of trolleys, selling food, drinks and children's toys.

An anniversary event was taking place at the other end of the street, near the Ho Chi Minh City Hall, with the presence of urban management and police officers, but none of them seemed to care about the illegal peddlers.

“The top favorite spot of Ho Chi Minh City looks no different than an afternoon market,” one local complained.

Street food trolleys block the way from Huynh Thuc Khang Street to Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Street food trolleys block the way from Huynh Thuc Khang Street to Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Street vendors gather in another street when traffic police patrol over the Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Street vendors gather on another street when traffic police patrol Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A woman vendor is seen sitting on a flattened cardboard box, creating an unsightly scene. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A vendor is seen sitting on a flattened cardboard box, creating an unsightly scene. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Urban management officers are seen in Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Urban management officers are seen on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen with a stool and a basket as selling tools. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen with a stool and a basket as selling tools. Photo: Tuoi Tre
An urban management officer requests a vendor to leave the street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
An urban management officer requests a vendor to leave the street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Pedestrians are surrounded by street vendors. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Pedestrians are surrounded by street vendors. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street food trolley lies in the midst of the bustling street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street food trolley lies in the midst of the bustling street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A vendor sells drink from his mobile stand. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A vendor sells drinks from his mobile stand. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen at Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen at Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen at Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A street vendor is seen at Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Bao Anh / Tuoi Tre News

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