Authorities in Phu Quoc, a heavenly island off Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam, have decided they will close down a night market well known to tourists in mid-2016 to improve traffic in the downtown area.
The Phu Quoc People’s Committee has announced that all activities at the Dinh Cau night market in the island’s Dong Duong Town will be halted after June 30 this year.
Frequent sellers at the market have expressed their worry over the decision, as authorities issued a different announcement in August last year, stating that they would construct a new market at the Dinh Cau site after the sellers handed their premises back on December 31, 2015, when their lease agreements expired.
The decision to build the new market was backed by the traders as they thought it would help them compete with those at the Bach Dang night market, which is some hundreds of meters away from Dinh Cau.
However, the sellers were then invited to a meeting hosted by local authorities on December 22, 2015 to be informed of the permanent demolition of the Dinh Cau nigh market to improve traffic in the downtown area of the island.
The sudden change is considered shocking as the traders will have no place to run their business after the market is closed for good.
The new decision was not made in a timely manner, as it is too late for them to sign contracts to lease alternative spaces at the Bach Dang night market, one of the sellers said.
Huynh Quang Hung, vice chairman of the Phu Quoc People’s Committee, has confirmed the Dinh Cau demolition to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, adding that local authorities have been trying to establish a new place for the sellers to continue their business.
Phu Quoc is the largest island of Vietnam, located in the Gulf of Thailand, 50km off Kien Giang Province and a 50-minute flight from Ho Chi Minh City.
The island is famous for stunning beaches, an untouched natural environment, the relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals, and fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling.
The Dinh Cau night market, which is managed by the Phu Quoc Tourist and Trade Promotion Center, was open for business in September 2007 on Vo Thi Sau Street in central Duong Dong Town.
The place quickly became a must-visit destination in many tourists’ itinerary.
The market houses over 70 stalls of 50 small businesses, featuring various culinary delights and unique souvenirs, and is usually packed with visitors all year round, for it is one of a few places for entertainment on the pristine island.
The famous travel site Lonely Planet regards the market as the most atmospheric, affordable and excellent place to dine on Phu Quoc, with around a dozen stalls serving a delicious range of Vietnamese seafood, grills and vegetarian options.