Hanoi expands pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem Lake

(VOVWORLD) - At the beginning of 2021 Hanoi expanded its pedestrian street area to the southern edge of the Old Quarter. The aim, of course, is to boost the area’s tourism and general commerce in goods and services.

The pedestrian street area around Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake in midtown Hanoi began excluding motor traffic in 2004 from Hang Dao, Hang Ngang, Hang Duong, Dong Xuan, and Hang Giay street. In 2014, the area was expanded to include Hang Buom, Ma May, Dao Duy Tu, Hang Giay, Luong Ngoc Quyen, and Ta Hien street. In 2016, five more streets were added. This year’s expansion adds eight more streets, bringing the total number of walking streets to 24.    

Nguyen Anh Quan, Vice Chairman of Hoan Kiem district People’s Committee, said, “This expansion, linking the south with the north of the Old Quarter, makes the pedestrian zone promoting the Old Quarter, a national relic, and Hoan Kiem Lake, a special national relic, complete.”

Hanoi expands pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem Lake - ảnh 1The pedestrian zone is packed with people every time it is opened. (Photo: VnExpress)

The Old Quarter embraces the cultural essence of Hanoi through the ages, evidenced by ancient houses, traditional crafts, cultural and historical sites, and abundant food. 121 relics in the Old Quarter have been recognized, including temples, pagodas, clubs, and mosques. Each street in the Old Quarter is named after a craft that flourished in the capital centuries ago.

Nguyen Ngoc Diep, who lives in Hang Bac street, told us, “Kim Ngan temple on Hang Bac street is the center of silversmithing. Most artisans who make silver and gold jewelry live on Hang Bac street.”

Hanoi expands pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem Lake - ảnh 2Eight streets (purple) and three alleys (green) encompass the pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem lake in downtown Hanoi, beginning January 1, 2021. (Photo: VnExpress)

The pedestrian streets are off limits to motor vehicles from 7 p.m. on Friday through midnight on Sunday in the summer. In the winter, the vehicle ban begins one hour earlier.

Pham Tuan Long, Chairman of the Hoan Kiem district People’s Committee, elaborated, “Restaurants and hotels are mainly located in Gia Ngu street and Cau Go alley. Craft products are sold in Hang Be street, grocery products in Dao Duy Tu and Cau Go street, woolen goods in Dinh Liet street, footwear in Hang Dau street, and jewelry in Hang Bac street. Quang Chuong gate is a venue for cultural events promoting handicraft products, delicious cuisine, and specialties from all over Vietnam.”  

Hanoi plans to turn the Old Quarter, already a major tourist attraction, into a center of Vietnamese culture.

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