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Saigon Moves Away From Bars in Future Bui Vien Tourism Plans

Local officials believe the future of the Bui Vien Walking Street rests in appealing to tourists via new shops and novel experiences, as opposed to drinking.

Tuoi Tre reports that the street's status was discussed at a conference on March 29, led by Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong, on Saigon’s economic performance for the first quarter of 2018.

“In recent months we have not focused on the development of alcohol-serving premises here, rather, our primary interest has been the proliferation of convenience stores and those catering to tourists’ shopping needs,” said Tran The Thuan, chairman of the District 1 People’s Committee.

Recent months have spurred debate over public security on Bui Vien after a series of altercations between individuals and visitors. For example, late on the night of March 17 an Irish tourist was involved in a fight with bar staff on the street, according to VTC News.

“To ensure that the public feels safe on Bui Vien, our police department has mobilized two additional forces. Subsequently, only two thefts have recently occurred and were swiftly resolved,” Thuan added at the conference. “Pham Ngu Lao Ward, meanwhile, has seen a significant decline in crime.”

The official remains optimistic about Bui Vien’s future, Bao Moi reports. “Bui Vien remains one of our key attractions, and over 90% of residents in this ward agree with its future direction and even wish to extend the street’s opening hours and pedestrian space,” Thuan told the news source.

On January 11, the People’s Committee of District 1 proposed that Bui Vien’s Friday hours should be extended to 2am. Additionally, it is expected that Bui Vien’s pedestrian area will absorb Do Quang Dau Street and Cong Quynh Street, as well as the intersection between Do Quang Dau and Pham Ngu Lao.

[Photo via YouTube user Sai Gon Ngay Nay]

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