Check out Saigon backpacker street's first vehicle free night

By Thanh Nguyen   July 16, 2017 | 08:53 pm PT
One step at a time, Bui Vien is being pedestrianized.

Construction delays have caused a setback for Bui Vien pedestrian street in Ho Chi Minh City’s backpacker zone in District 1, but authorities have made amends by banning all vehicles from the street since last Saturday when it was originally meant to open.


This is what Bui Vien looks lke now from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. during the weekend.


Drivers are being asked to park their vehicles in the nearby September 23 Park, and those who live on Bui Vien Street have to walk their vehicles to and from their homes. Officials in District 1 said construction of the sidewalk is running behind schedule, and telecommunications cables and water pipes still need to be laid, but a revised opening date has yet to be announced.


“This is amazing!” an American tourist named Anna said, adding that she doesn’t have to worry about bumping into a vehicle any more.


“I totally agree with the plan to ban vehicles from Bui Vien Street during the weekend. It will keep things in order,” a local named Tran Trong said.


Now that big cars have gone, time to roll out tiny cars!  "The street is clear from vehicles now, so I can let my grandchildren play without having to worry,” said Oanh.


Now you can run like this girl down Bui Vien Street on weekend nights.


But there are still some who don' t understand the concept.


Bui Vien is part of the city’s popular backpacker precinct. The tourist area pulls in around 2,000 tourists on its best days and earns more than VND37 billion ($1.63 million) a year. New granite paving, stages for music performances, surveillance cameras, security guards, free wifi and public toilets are being installed at an estimated cost of VND13 billion ($572,300).

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