Vietnam's former capital to ban vehicles from backpacker area on weekend nights

By Vo Thanh   August 13, 2017 | 10:42 am GMT+7

The central city of Hue is hoping the new pedestrian zone will tempt tourists to take a stroll.

Authorities in Vietnam's central city of Hue have agreed on a plan to turn the backpacker streets in Phu Hoi Ward into a pedestrian-only area on weekend nights.

Starting in late September, vehicles will be banned from Pham Ngu Lao, Chu Van An and Vo Thi Sau streets from 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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Hue's backpacker area is often crowded with tourists in the evening. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Thanh

Local authorities will also reorganize businesses in the area to suit pedestrians, and residents living on the three streets will get free parking outside the zone.

The pedestrian area is Hue's latest plan to boost tourism, after the former capital opened its Imperial Citadel to tourists at night earlier this summer. The city also transformed Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street along the southern banks of the Huong River (Perfume River) into a walking street in 2015.

Hanoi has already opened walking zones around the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter. A project to make Trinh Cong Son Street near West Lake pedestrian-only on weekend nights is also underway.

Meanwhile, Saigon is transforming Bui Vien Street in the city's backpacker area into a walking street on weekend nights, following the success of Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

In the central region, the ancient town of Hoi An is its expanding its walking area, which it first debuted in 2004. Da Nang is also considering pedestrianizing some downtown streets and roads along the Han River.