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Vietnam's Da Lat knocks down, moves age-old trees for street expansion

Vietnam's Da Lat knocks down, moves age-old trees for street expansion

Sunday, May 09, 2021, 13:06 GMT+7
Vietnam's Da Lat knocks down, moves age-old trees for street expansion
Trees on Tran Quoc Toan Street in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam have either been chopped down or relocated for a street expansion project. Photo: M.Vinh / Tuoi Tre

A slew of old trees on Da Lat City’s Tran Quoc Toan Street, which is notorious for traffic jams on weekends and at rush hour, have been either chopped down or uprooted to make space for a project to expand the street. 

As witnessed by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondent, contractors from the expansion project showed up on Saturday to relocate the trees on a section of Tran Quoc Toan Street, which stretches from Ong Dao Street to Lam Vien Square in Da Lat, located in Vietnam's Lam Dong Province. 

A total of 111 age-old trees on the street would be either chopped down or displaced, while 203 others would be kept intact, according to a plan.

The majority are old conifers and cherry blossom trees, both of which are emblematic plants having been associated with the image of Da Lat for dozens of years. 

The expansion project includes larger roadways and new sidewalks, whereas trees similar to what have been displaced would also be introduced to restore the look for this touristic street, contractors confirmed. 

Several streets surrounding the tourist attraction of Xuan Huong Lake, including Tran Quoc Toan, are too narrow, considering the steeply rising traffic volume that the city has been seeing in recent years, according to the Lam Dong People’s Committee.

A cherry blossom tree is being lifted out of Tran Quoc Toan Street in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: M.Vinh / Tuoi Tre

A cherry blossom tree is lifted out of Tran Quoc Toan Street in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: M.Vinh / Tuoi Tre

The situation calls for street expansion projects, which must be rooted in a vision of long-term traffic infrastructure development.

The expansion of Tran Quoc Toan Street, which was ratified by the Lam Dong People’s Committee, works as part of a bigger urban design for Xuan Huong Lake and its vicinity. 

Similar to a few other street expansion attempts that Da Lat witnessed in 2020, the width of Tran Quoc Toan Street will be enlarged to 14 meters, while the new sidewalk will be built no less than three meters wide. 

The rising number of visitors to Da Lat in recent years has put an immense pressure on its infrastructure, event disrupting local residents' everyday life. 

Da Lat welcomed approximately 125,000 visits on Reunification Day (April 30), International Workers’ Day (May 1), and May 2 – three out of several public holidays that Vietnamese workers are entitled to this year, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

The number of tourists during a recent four-day holiday, which ended on Monday, jumped threefold versus the same period of 2020 and 2.5 times more than 2019.

Due to a surge in travel, most Da Lat-bound holidaymakers from Ho Chi Minh City spent more than 17 hours in their vehicles to reach the destination.

It normally takes a maximum of seven hours to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat by car or bus.

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