Hanoi removes the current deadtime of Curfew to attract more tourists

 

The decision was a step towards concretising the resolution on tourism promotion in the 2016-2020 period by the city’s party commitee. Chairman Chung said many foreigners regarded Hanoi’s nightlife as a “specialty” and so the city was going to give them more of it. Places of entertainment will soon be allowed to remain open overnight. However, many officials said the new plan needed better management, such as the setting of an age limit, or it could backfire.

Hanoi Tourism Department Director Do Dinh Hong said, “The decision to lift the midnight curfew will attract more tourists, especially younger people. This will be an effective measure to make tourists stay longer and spend more on entertainment and services. However, it needs close management to avoid negative effects.” The lifting of the curfew is also good news for restaurants and bar owners, as it will be an opportunity for them to expand their businesses.

Currently, all restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and karaoke parlours in the city have to close by midnight. Only bars and clubs in top hotels and resorts are allowed to remain open till 2am. Tourists in Hanoi and HCM City have complained about the lack of night entertainment facilities. The curfew has disappointed foreign tourists, especially younger ones, as the nightlife is not as diverse and sufficient as in other regional cities such as Bangkok, Singapore or Manila.
 
The capital city is expected to record an annual growth rate of 10 per cent in tourist arrivals. The tourism sector is expected to generate VND120 trillion ($5.4 billion) for the city by 2020, when Ha Noi plans to welcome 30 million tourists, including 19 per cent foreigners. Hanoi will create extra walking streets next month for pedestrians to enjoy the Old Quarter while promoting culture and culinary delights of the 1,000-year-old city. 

The streets Hang Buom, Hang Giay, Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ma May, Dao Duy Tu and Ta Hien will join those already closed to traffic in the evening, Hang Dao and Dong Xuan. "We aim to tap the strong points of these streets for tourism including century-old food dishes such as cha ca (grilled fish) and pho (noodle soup)," said Nguyen Quoc Hung, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Transport. 

The six-street area is famous for many historical relics dating back to the 18 th -19 th century such as the temples of Bach Ma, Quan De and Huong Tuong together with houses of old architecture typical of Hanoi. Along the streets, performances of traditional music “hat xam” (minstrel songs), “chau van” (spiritual singing), and “ca tru” (ceremonial singing) as well as jazz will be organised. Last month, the 300m long Hang Buom Street was also made a cuisine street, serving Hanoi traditional confectionery and beverage and some European and Asian dishes to visitors to the night market along the Hang Dao- Dong Xuan route. 

According to the department's survey on affected local residents in these streets, 925 households would be affected by the project, of which 71 percent supported the project. The survey also found that residents in 10 walking streets owned more than 1,500 vehicles, mostly motorbikes. They usually kept their vehicles at home or in parking lots nearby. 

Deputy Director of the Department Nguyen Xuan Tan said the project would require 14 parking lots with an area of 5,670sq m for resident parking. These lots would be located within 500m of their houses. The parking lots will also be used for public vehicles. Neighbouring streets will also be used as parking places on holidays. 

Pham Minh Hang, resident in Dong Xuan street said it was a nice idea to create pedestrian areas where she and other residents could escape from the noise pollution and gas emissions for a while. "I think the authorities should also arrange parking lots efficiently to avoid disrupting residents' trading activities," she said. Hanoi Old Quarter was listed among the best 95 attractions in the Capital in 2014 by the US ’s premier travel website TripAdvisor.