Hanoi to expand popular walking-only zone around Hoan Kiem Lake

By Tat Dinh   October 4, 2019 | 04:29 am PT
Hanoi to expand popular walking-only zone around Hoan Kiem Lake
An aerial skyline view of Hanoi's Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake area at twilight. Photo by Shutterstock.
Hanoi authorities are working on a plan to expand the pedestrian-only zone around the capital's iconic Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake to boost tourism.

Pham Tuan Long, vice chairman of the central district Hoan Kiem, said six more streets and two alleys would be added to the current 16 streets where vehicles are off-limits during certain times to reduce crowding and bolster tourism.

The streets are Dinh Liet, Gia Ngu, Cau Go from Dinh Liet to Nguyen Huu Huan, Hang Be, Dao Duy Tu from Hang Buom to Hang Chieu, and O Quan Chuong and the alleys are Cau Go and Trung Yen.

They will be off-limits for vehicles from 7 p.m. on Friday through midnight on Sunday.

Hanoi has earmarked several streets, including Dinh Tien Hoang, Hang Khay, Le Thach, and Trang Tien, for pedestrians only since September 2016 to enliven the city and attract more visitors.

City authorities said the walking-only zone has become a magnet for tourists, and helped diversify the activities available to them.

The zone gets 18,000-25,000 people every day.

But hawking, walking dogs and cars remain a concern for the authorities.

The St. Josephs Cathedral near the Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake in Hanoi is one of the most popular tourist attactions. Photo by Shutterstock/Anh Khuong. 

St. Joseph's Cathedral near Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake in Hanoi is a popular tourist attraction. Photo by Shutterstock/Anh Khuong. 

Hanoi, which hosted the historic second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February, received 4.7 million foreign tourists in the first nine months of this year, up 10.1 percent.

Saigon and Hanoi were among the world’s 100 most visited travel destinations in 2018, a Euromonitor International report said.

The capital was also voted among the top 15 destinations in the world by TripAdvisor travelers.

Last year was a successful one for the city's tourism sector as a record 5.74 million foreign visitors came, a 16 percent increase from 2017.

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