Hanoi to extinguish sidewalk cooking fires to improve city's image

By Ngoc Thanh   March 17, 2017 | 05:12 pm PT
People cooking over tiny stoves on the sidewalk might soon be a thing of the past.

Hanoi's new etiquette rules include a ban on cooking on the sidewalk to improve the city's image.

Open-air cooking is so common in Hanoi that it seems as if half of the city’s population is sitting around sidewalk fires all day.

Hanoi is renowned for its street food, with stalls selling everything from complicated soups and meat skewers, to noodles and baguettes.

It is not uncommon to see local people sitting down on plastic stools at a table covered with tarp to enjoy a meal.

Since the cost of a gas or charcoal stove is relatively low, restaurant owners and residents prefer them to indoor electric ovens.

Hanoi also wants to put an end to the practice of burning paper offerings for deceased relatives.

According to local tradition, Vietnamese people burn paper effigies for their ancestors, ranging from stacks of money, bank cards, watches, smart phones and pieces of jewelry, to models of high-end motorbikes and sports cars.

Hanoi has been working on etiquette rules since 2012, most of which are intended to prevent acts such as littering, spitting, urinating in public, using bad language and dressing in a provocative or indecent way.

Check out Hanoi's open-air kitchens below.


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