Bui Vien walking street no longer has pedestrian path

The walking street of Bui Vien (Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City) has been put into operation since August 2017, and become a popular entertainment destination for foreigners and young people at weekends. However, unfortunately, through 8 months of operation, Bui Vien walking street has not yet run in line with the regulation, it is still quite messy.

Many furniture stores occupy the pavement in Bui Vien street and there is no space for visitors (photo SGGP)

Many furniture stores occupy the pavement in Bui Vien street and there is no space for visitors (photo SGGP)

Chaotic and untidy trading

Earlier, Bui Vien street was often crowded during weekend evenings. Previously, Bui Vien Street and other roads around the area had been spontaneously developed into "Westerners’ Street" with numerous travelers. The decision to turn Bui Vien Street into pedestrian street is very appropriate to develop the city's tourism sector, opening an entertainment area for tourists.

Unfortunately, after 8 months of operation, Bui Vien walking street has not yet come into order with no pedestrian path and the street vendors are rampant. Theoretically, street vendors are forbidden to peddle to this road. However, though the police had set up the bars and organized the guards at the entrance of the pedestrian street to stop motorbikes and rickshaws, but peddlers have still kept sneaking in. They sell junk food, fruit, chewing gum, dried squid fish, grilled dried fish and souvenirs. The peddling of rampant pedestrians not only causes chaos, sleaze, loss of beauty, but sometimes makes the guests unhappy, even resentful. Even some children, the elderly, the disabled beggars also try to annoy tourists. As a result, street is not convenient for foreign travelers.

The 1,400m long walking street was invested nearly VND 10 billion for paving stones and other embellishments. Yet many business owners have taken the opportunity at weekends to occupy every space of the curb. They lay tables and chairs not only on the sidewalk in front of their shops, but they also sprawl out tables and chairs on the sides of the road for guests to sit down to eat and drink. That further narrows the width of the street, which becomes so cramped that there is no pedestrian passage. Yet, somehow the authorities do not strictly prohibit or remind shop owners.

Lack of safety and hygiene

In weekend evenings, Bui Vien walking street has many entertaining activities organized by a number of dancer teams, acrobatic and magic groups to serve tourists. These fun activities in the pedestrian street are necessary, betraying the Vietnamese cultural identity, bringing laughter and joy for visitors. However, several pastimes performed by candy sellers are quite dangerous, causing direct impact on visitors, for instance the game of spraying gasoline fire. Performers keeping gasoline in their mouths then spit fire to create flaming, and bright circles of fire in the air on the road. It is very dangerous, because fireballs from performers can hit visitors or flammable materials, resulting in unforeseen calamities.

There are only large trash containers at the entrance at two ends of the pedestrian street but no more garbage cans on the 1,400 meters street. Besides, there are innumerable eateries on the street, so the innkeepers put garbage in the sidewalks, even rampant down the road. Travelers do not find the trash boxes, so when they finish eating, they have to put garbage on the packaging somewhere. Therefore garbage cans should be arranged inside the walking street to overcome the rubbish littered...

 

by ĐẶNG ĐỨC - translated by Tri Dan

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