People cram into bars after Hanoi allows them to reopen

By Long Nguyen   September 18, 2020 | 07:12 pm PT
Hanoi's famous Ta Hien beer street was packed with people on the first Friday night after bars were allowed to reopen.

With bars packed, many late arrivals had to wait outside to enter, creating chaos, as thousands made a beeline for the street famous for its beer halls and bars.

As the bars reopened after being shut down for one and a half months, many youngsters were thrilled to their favorite hang-outs regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing rules.

"I have not drunk or danced for months, so I was waiting to hit the bars again," Tran Thanh Tung, 24, who was waiting with his friends outside 1900, a popular bar among youngsters, said.

Ta Hien Street is packed with partygoers on the night of September 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/The Quynh.

Ta Hien Street in downtown Hanoi is packed with revelers on September 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/The Quynh.

Many people did not wear face masks, saying they were not worried much about the pandemic and could not wait to get back to their nightlife.

"Life must go on, we miss the music and noise under mirror balls," Le Thanh Quynh, a white-collar worker living in Long Bien District, said, adding she went to Ta Hien to "get some weekend vibe."

The crowds surprised many people, and some left the packed bars quickly and decided to go elsewhere to seek their Friday evening entertainment.

Inching his way out of the street, Nguyen The Duc, 25, said he and his friends had opted out because it was too hot inside a bar they had been in.

"Too crowded, no place for dancing or even moving our bodies."

The staffs at the bars on Ta Hien, one of Hanoi's most popular drinking hotspots, were astonished by the number of patrons.

"We expected to get more customers than usual because it is a Friday, but we did not think it would be this crowded; this is overwhelming," an employee of 1900 said.

Bars and karaoke parlors were shut from August 1 to September 16. But after being allowed to open on Wednesday, many spots like 1900 did not do so immediately, but waited until the weekend.

Some opened on Wednesday, but did not attract too many customers.

Bars had also been shut from March to May when the pandemic first broke out.

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