JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Crackdown on sidewalk encroachment along West Lake’s banks a wasted effort in Hanoi

Crackdown on sidewalk encroachment along West Lake’s banks a wasted effort in Hanoi

Monday, June 27, 2022, 15:28 GMT+7
Crackdown on sidewalk encroachment along West Lake’s banks a wasted effort in Hanoi
A street vendor illegally sets up plastic chairs on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake to sell beverages in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi authorities’ campaigns to solve sidewalk encroachment caused by street hawkers on the banks of the West Lake have proved to be water off a duck’s back as the issue recurs after every crackdown.

The West Lake, which is the capital’s biggest freshwater reservoir located in Tay Ho District, has long been a favorite spot for young people to hang out, leading to the emergence of street stalls along its banks.

Street hawkers rake in money from visitors to the lake by displaying their wares on the banks to sell street food and beverages even though that means the sidewalk there is partly or completely blocked.

The encroachment has prompted local authorities to roll out multiple crackdowns, which have turned out to be wasted labor as the street stalls crept back in a few days.

Young people enjoy beverages at a street stall illegally established on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Young people enjoy beverages at a lakeside stall illegally established on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The issue resurfaced last weekend as observed by a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter.

Street vendors unlawfully occupied a large part of the sidewalks of Thanh Nien and Nguyen Dinh Thi Streets along the West Lake to set up their tables and chairs, as well as making use of the public stone benches there on Saturday afternoon.

They even fumed at the Tuoi Tre reporter when he was reporting on the situation on the afternoon, asking him to put his camera away.

“What are you taking pictures of the chairs for,” a street vendor on the sidewalk of Thanh Nien Street asked the reporter, following up with “Don’t!”

Plastic chairs are unlawfully set up on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake to sell beverages in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Plastic chairs are unlawfully set up on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake to sell beverages in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

The darker it got, the more rampant the street stalls became.

On Trich Sai Street, a seafood stall even spread mats on the sidewalk to serve customers.

On Nhat Tan Street, a household business made use of the passageway of a tourist boat as a space to sell beverages.

People who want to enter this shop had to climb over the railing of the West Lake and step over a makeshift bridge.

Many visitors to the lake also told Tuoi Tre about their bad experience with those street stalls on Saturday afternoon.

“Once, when my friend and I were sitting on a stone bench along the West Lake to talk and get some fresh air, a woman came to ask me if I wanted to buy a beverage, to which I answered 'No,' then she turned me away and said I had to buy beverages to sit there,” 25-year-old Nguyen Hanh Nguyen recounted. 

“When I asked why I couldn't have a seat at a public place like this, that woman threatened to beat me, so we had to leave.”

Young people enjoy beverages at a street stall illegally established on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Young people enjoy beverages at a street stall illegally established on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, a local who often jogs around the lake, complained that the sidewalks there are usually occupied by the plastic chairs of street vendors, leaving no space for pedestrians who have no choice but to take to the roadway.

Despite the patrol of public order police officers around the West Lake on Saturday afternoon and evening as observed by the Tuoi Tre reporter, the street vending activities persisted.

In response to a Tuoi Tre request on the situation on Sunday afternoon, a local leader said that the functional forces have stretched their personnel to other public places like the Trinh Cong Son pedestrian zone, leading to the turmoil at the West Lake.

"We will check it out immediately," the leader added.

A street vendor sets up mats on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake to sell beverages in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A street vendor sets up mats on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake to sell beverages in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Young people enjoy beverages at a street stall illegally established on the sidewalk garden of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Young people enjoy beverages at a street stall illegally established on the sidewalk garden of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A man climbs over the railing of the West Lake and step over a makeshift bridge to enter a street shop illegally set up at the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A man climbs over the railing of the West Lake and steps over a makeshift bridge to enter a street shop illegally set up at the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A police patrol truck passes a street stall illegally established on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

A police patrol truck passes a street stall illegally put up on the sidewalk of a street along the West Lake in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, June 25, 2022. Photo: Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Bao Anh - Pham Tuan / Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

‘Taste of Australia’ gala dinner held in Ho Chi Minh City after 2-year hiatus

Taste of Australia Gala Reception has returned to the Park Hyatt Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Vietnamese woman gives unconditional love to hundreds of adopted children

Despite her own immense hardship, she has taken in and cared for hundreds of orphans over the past three decades.

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Latest news