Hoi An once again expands walking zone for tourists

By Vy An   April 11, 2017 | 09:00 pm PT
Hoi An once again expands walking zone for tourists
Hoi An Ancient Town. VnExpress/Vy An
Saigon and Hanoi may need to consider taking a page from the small town's book.

Hoi An, the little charming town in central Vietnam that has successfully demotorized some of its most beautiful streets, is expanding its walking zone.

Walking through the old quarter and its narrow lanes has always been one of the favorite activities for visitors to the town.

Now tourists can stroll the entire Tran Phu and Cong Nu Ngoc Hoa, all the way to the river. The pedestrian-only segment on Nguyen Hue Street has also been extended, starting this week.

The hours remain unchanged: motorbikes will still be allowed in between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the heat can be too much for a walk anyway.

Local officials hope that the added space will give pedestrians more to see and ease overcrowding around some attraction hotspots.

In 2015, Hoi An's walking area was extended to include Nguyen Phuc Chu Street, 16 years after the centuries-old port town was recognized as a world heritage site.

Since 2004 the pedestrian zone has been a distinct cultural trait of the town. Initially, only Tran Phu, Nguyen Thai Hoc and Bach Dang were chosen.

Foot traffic is extremely important to vibrant dining scene here.

Last year, travel site Lonely Planet dubbed Hoi An a global food paradise while American travel website TripAdvisor chose the town as one of the top 10 Asian food destinations in 2011.

Hoi An attracted 2.3 million tourists last year, up more than 18 percent from 2015.

Video by Benn Jayms Tkalcevic

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