No tour boat service on West Lake for now, Hanoi's Party committee says

By Vo Hai   March 29, 2023 | 10:04 pm PT
No tour boat service on West Lake for now, Hanoi's Party committee says
Two cruise ships yet to be removed from Hanoi's West Lake. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
There is no plan to resume tour boat services in Hanoi's West Lake, and any future recommencement has to be considered carefully, the city Party Committee said Tuesday.

Its secretary, Dinh Tien Dung, made it clear the lake's environmental safety would take priority.

The Committee's announcement came a week after the Hanoi People’s Committee solicited public opinion on the management of the lake, the city’s largest freshwater body. It proposed 12 forms of services to be allowed at the lake, including business activities regarding boats and other water vehicles on the lake, as well as the transportation of people on these vehicles.

Tour boat services on the West Lake have been around since the 2000s, employing around 150 waterway vehicles from 14 businesses. But authorities later said these services do not satisfy standards regarding pollution control and fire safety.

In 2015, Hanoi requested relevant units to relocate a port near Thuy Khue to the Dam Bay area in Nhat Tan Ward. The city also instructed Tay Ho District authorities to request units with old, dilapidated boats to get them out of the West Lake.

In 2017, the Hanoi People’s Committee requested for an end to all business activities within the West Lake, as well as gathering all boats and floating vehicles back to collection points. So far 143 out of 147 vehicles on the West Lake have been removed.

The West Lake spans over 527 ha, with a perimeter of around 19 km. It is famous for the density of historical relics, pagodas and rows of restaurants and coffee shops along its shores.

The area surrounding the lake is one of the city's most vibrant centers for international cuisine, and it is also home to a large expat community.

City authorities also want to launch more tourism activities at the lake such as concerts, hot air balloon rides, paragliding, and a golf course.

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