Trash piles up at Saigon's forgotten tourist info stations

By Thanh Nguyen   June 14, 2017 | 11:53 am GMT+7

What once appeared as a visionary idea has become a costly failure for the southern megacity.

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Back in 2008, Ho Chi Minh City decided to spend VND32 billion ($1.4 million) on 100 information stations to help visitors search for where to go and what to do. So far 13 stations have been built in Districts 3 and 5. Fast forward a decade, what once appeared as a visionary idea has become a costly failure.

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This station at the corner of Cach Mang Thang Tam and Tu Xuong in District 3 is now a public trash can. “It has been broken for a long time but no one came to fix it, so locals just keep bringing their garbage here,” a xe om driver told VnExpress.

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A rusty station on Vo Van Tan Street in District 3.

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“No one uses this station so I’ve been coming here to take shelter in rainy days,” Ngoc, a scrap vendor, said of the station near the Turtle Lake traffic circle in District 3.

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A touch screen that has stopped working.

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A wire comes out from a station on Pham Ngoc Thach Street. “The authorities should remove these stations to give space for the sidewalks. Or they need to fix them to ensure safety for pedestrians,” a visitor named Chi from Hanoi said.

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The station in front of the War Remnants Museum in District 3 has been out of use for a long time. Brian, a tourist, said he actually wanted to use to the screen to check information but it didn't work. "What a pity!” he said.

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This is what the touch screen of a station on Nguyen Van Cu Street, District 5 looks like these days.