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Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker street’ shows signs of revival as COVID-19 ban lifted

Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker street’ shows signs of revival as COVID-19 ban lifted

Monday, January 17, 2022, 16:34 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker street’ shows signs of revival as COVID-19 ban lifted
People take a stroll on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City’s Bui Vien ‘backpacker street’ is gradually regaining its lively and bustling atmosphere as authorities lifted a months-long ban on bars and discos after the COVID-19 pandemic had been put under control.

According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters on Sunday night, Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1 was filled with people, who were mostly young Vietnamese.

They were either having a stroll along the street or enjoying a few drinks with their friends while listening to the sound of upbeat music.

Several foreigners were also spotted among the crowd.

A foreigner has a drink at a bar on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A foreigner has a drink at a bar on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Linh, a resident in District 8, said he came to Bui Vien with his friends to chill out following a hard-working week.

“Bui Vien Street is gradually reviving following the serious COVID-19 outbreak,” Linh stated.

“I hope that the street will be able to welcome back more tourists in the near future.”

Ho Chi Minh City has been one of the hardest-hit localities since the fourth virus wave hit Vietnam on April 27, with more than 511,200 local infections.

A group of friends pose for a photo at a bar on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A group of friends pose for a photo at a bar on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The metropolis has recorded a daily count of less than 700 cases since the beginning of January, a sharp decrease compared to about 1,600 cases a month earlier, according to the city’s COVID-19 information portal.

Municipal authorities had implemented various levels of social distancing measures since May 31 last year before loosening restrictions and switching to living safely with the pandemic in October thanks to a large-scale vaccination campaign and natural immunity from mass infections.

People enjoy their drinks on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

People enjoy their drinks on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, January 16, 2022. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

The city of nine million has so far administered over eight million first vaccine doses, more than 7.2 million second shots, and nearly four million third jabs.

Bars, discos, and karaoke shops had been closed from April 30 and were only permitted to reopen on January 10.

The prolonged suspension previously prompted bar and restaurant businesses on Bui Vien Street to transform into vegetable shops to make ends meet.

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