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Turtle Lake to Become Pedestrian Area, Nguyen Thuong Hien to Turn Into 'Snack Street,' D3 Says

Known among Saigoneers as havens for bánh tráng trộn, two areas in District 3 are being transformed into the district’s first pedestrian-only areas.

As Tuoi Tre reports, a proposal presented by District 3 Secretary Phạm Thành Kiên during a recent meeting details an upcoming plan to outfit Nguyen Thuong Hien Street and the area around Turtle Lake with night activities catering to pedestrians. The project proposal is being compiled by the district People’s Committee to submit to the municipal People’s Committee for approval next month.

Kiên shared during the meeting that Turtle Lake is a famous attraction with many visitors, but there aren’t many activities to entice Saigoneers and tourists to visit the area more often. If greenlit, district officials will start working on the stretch of street between Dien Bien Phu and Nguyen Dinh Chieu, though the newspaper doesn’t specify what kind of upgrades would take place.

Turtle Lake is a decades-old fountain that punctuates the meeting point of Tran Cao Van, Pham Ngoc Thach and Vo Van Tan streets. An evening hangout space has popped up in the area with vendors selling kumquat tea, bánh tráng trộn, bánh tráng nướng, bắp xào, and more.

Similarly, Nguyen Thuong Hien is a narrow street that was once a railway track during the French occupation. It’s now where hundreds of snack shops commingle, peddling everything from bánh tráng trộn to bubble tea to kebabs.

Not all pavements in Saigon are hospitable to walkers due to the number of parked bikes, table sets and even construction debris that hog the space, but there have been some government efforts to create more areas for walking. These include Nguyen Hue, Bui Vien, and some streets in District 7.

In September, a proposal put forth by the HCMC Center for Management of Road Traffic Infrastructure sought to turn five more streets in downtown Saigon into walking-friendly areas, at least during the weekend.

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