Vietnam metro to spruce up backpackers' area

TN News

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Ho Chi Minh City authorities are planning to "rearrange" its backpackers' area after finding many eateries illegally occupying sidewalks and streets and bars keeping the place "shaking" until early morning.

The District 1 People's Committee, the local government, has proposed that the city administration expedite implementation of a plan to establish pedestrians-only streets, including Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao, the two main streets in the area dubbed Pho Tay (Westerners' Quarter).

Pham Ngu Lao Ward has emerged as a popular hangout for visitors from all continents and they mostly gather there after 9 p.m.  It is therefore necessary to rearrange the services more "logically" and avoid nuisance to local residents at night, the district administration said.

It proposed that the city convert a part of the September 23 Park into a night food court.It has also instructed the Pham Ngu Lao Ward to crackdown on bars that cause excessive noise until early morning, news website VnExpress said in a report Saturday.

District 1 authorities have inspected 47 facilities in the area and found six bars generating between 70-78 dB, almost one and a half times the allowed noise levels. They are considering punitive measures against these clubs.

Pham Ngu Lao Ward officials recently summoned owners of more than 40 household businesses on Bui Vien, De Tham and Do Quang Dau streets and ordered them to stop violations including occupying sidewalks and streets, and causing excessive noise and pollution.

The ward has fined several eateries for violations including encroachment of streets, failure to sign labor contracts with employees,  pay social insurance for them and give them regular medical checkups, VnExpress said.

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