Saigon backpacker street undergoes major makeover

By Quynh Tran   June 18, 2017 | 12:06 pm GMT+7

Authorities are hoping that the work to turn Bui Vien into a walking street will make the popular backpacker area more attractive.

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More than 50 workers are hastily working on the construction of the pedestrian-only Bui Vien street, which is expected to be opened mid-July.

The entire pavements were ordered to be cleared off. The street length is approximately 1,400 meters.

The entire sidewalk is beng ripped up along the 1,400-meter (1,500-yard) street. The decision to pedestrianize the backpacker street was made earlier this month in a bid to make it more appealing to both local and foreign investors. The backpacker area reportedly attracts 500 tourists per day, and 2,000 on its busiest days, earning more than VND37 billion ($1.62 million) a year.

After the dig, the workers started to install the sewer pipeline, the telecommunication cables and the electricity conduit underground.

Workers have started to install sewer pipes and undeground telecommunications cables and electricity conduits to give the street a cleaner look.

The sidewalk will then be paved completely with granite, an investment worth more than 10 billion dong. According to Le Minh Duc Thinh, the projects engineer, there are more than 50 people working on this street from the morning until early evening. We have to be hurried with the dig and temporarily fill up the sidewalk so that the businesses can still be opened in the evening, he said.

The sidewalk will be repaved with granite, an investment worth more than VND10 billion ($440,000). According to Le Minh Duc Thinh, the project’s chief engineer, there are more than 50 people working on the street from morning until late afternoon. “We have to get a move on and temporarily cover the sidewalk so that businesses can still open in the evening,” he said.

During the day, Bui Vien street is filled with vehicles and building materials. I know the authority ordered the construction of the walking street. Its a bit uncomfortable walking around, but I totally understand and hope the construction will finish soon, said Peter, a tourist from the UK.

During the day, Bui Vien Street is filled with vehicles and building materials. “I know the authority ordered the construction of the walking street. It’s a bit uncomfortable walking around, but I totally understand and hope the construction will finish soon,” said Peter, a tourist from the UK.

The construction of the street certainly affects our business but its acceptable. Most of the residents here support the construction, and expect it to be soon completed. The tourists understand and support that too, said Nguyen Thai Viet, a resident.

“The construction certainly affects our business but it’s acceptable. Most of the residents here support the project and expect it to be soon completed. The tourists understand and support it too,” said Nguyen Thai Viet, a resident.

The installation of the sewer pipeline, the telecom cables and the electricity conduit also makes it difficult for pedestrians to move around.

The installation of underground pips and cables is making it difficult for pedestrians to move around.

The construction group makes sure to fill up the sidewalk temporarily before 4 p.m. everyday so that the residents can open their business later. They even spread the ground with canvas to make it easier for our business, said Loan, a clothing vendor.

“The construction workers put a temporary cover on the sidewalk before 4 p.m. everyday so that the residents can open their businesses. They even spread canvas on the ground to make it easier for us,” said Loan, a clothing vendor.

The total investment for Bui Vien walking street, including two entrances, security, sanitation, wifi broadband poles, is about 12.7 billion dong per year. The street is expected to be opened on July 15, from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. There will be entertainment shows from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. during the weekend.

The total investment for the project, which includes two entrances, security, sanitation and wifi, is about VND12.7 billion per year. The street is expected to be opened on July 15 from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. There will be entertainment shows from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. during the weekends.