Ho Chi Minh City subway work cuts off tourist access

Thanh Nien News

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A bus drops foreign tourists in front of Tax mall at Nguyen Hue and Le Loi street corner in Ho Chi Minh City, which can no longer happen as both closes are closed to vehicles for subway construction. Photo credit: Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon Online A bus drops foreign tourists in front of Tax mall at Nguyen Hue and Le Loi street corner in Ho Chi Minh City, which can no longer happen as both closes are closed to vehicles for subway construction. Photo credit: Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon Online

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Work on the metro-line in Ho Chi Minh City has closed off the center of the town to tourist buses, according to travel agencies.
Local companies say their buses are struggling to find places to drop off tourists who wish to visit the city's central shopping malls and attractions, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon Online reported.
Tourists usually walk along Dong Khoi, Le Loi and Nguyen Hue streets.
But the latter two have been closed to vehicle traffic during the construction of the country’s first subway line, confining most tourism buses to Dong Khoi.
While several buses can fit on the road, large groups of tourists traveling in up to ten buses at a time have experienced problems, the companies said in the report.
When buses jam traffic, the drivers can be fined for occupying the road for too long, they said.
When tourism activities peak in October, the problem will worsen, they said.
Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions which brings tourists in large boats, said tour buses are usually large and take time to unload large groups of tourists.
“We’re very afraid of being fined,” Anh said.
“When the group is large, our buses have to line up on Dong Khoi from near the city post office to near the opera house. We’re particularly stressed out then.”
Anh and his colleagues from the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association said the city government should create more space for buses to bring tourists into the heart of the city.
Each city tour takes several hours and buses should be allowed to wait for tourists in vacant areas such as the front of the post office or opera house, Anh said.
Alternatively, he said, they should be allowed to idle and park on Dong Khoi, he said.
Ho Chi Minh City has received around 3.1 million foreign arrivals so far this year, up 9 percent from the same period in 2013.

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