Hanoi upgrades walking streets

HANOI, 6 March 2017: Hanoi’s authorities plan to upgrade pedestrian streets and offer more facilities to upgrade the city’s image for locals and visitors.

Local media reported the city’s People’s Committee has implemented measures to improve the pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) Lake.

Also, public drinking water stations will be installed around the lake for the first time to serve locals and tourists.

The city’s committee chairman, Nguyen Duc Chung, was quoted saying the city is trying to complete all the improvements by June, including paving the streets with natural stones, renovating the surface of 57 households and 14 agencies around the lake, planting more ornamental trees and installing street lighting.

After the lake is cleaned with the help of Germany technology, more water will be pumped into it to increase the depth by another 50 cm compared with the current level, he said.

The city has received one public drinking water column from the mayor of Paris. However, Hanoi authorities confirmed they will add more drinking water stations similar to the one donated by the French capital.

In addition, the city will create areas  for five souvenir shops selling flowers, fresh fruits, coffee and fast food during the weekend, he said.

Pedestrian zones around the Hoan Kiem Lake officially opened, 1 September, and include 10 streets Hang Buom, Ma May, Dao Duy Tu, Hang Giay, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ta Hien, Hang Ngang, Hang Dao, Hang Duong and Dong Xuan.

The pedestrian streets open from Friday night to Sunday night, from 1900 to 2400 in summer and from 1800 to 2400 in winter. However, shops and bars in this zone will be allowed to remain open until 0200, the report said.

Hanoi’s tourism sector, this year, will generate 23.39 million trips, including 4.08 million foreign visits, with an estimated revenue of USD2.89 billion, according to the Municipal Tourism Department.

It reported that the capital welcomed 21.8 million visitors in 2016, including 4 million foreigners, earning USD2.72 billion, up 13% year on year.