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Jun 18, 2023 / 11:41

Hanoi to expand pedestrianizing streets around Hoan Kiem Lake

The Hoan Kiem Lake weekend promenade and its environs in downtown Hanoi have become a brand, a cultural boulevard and a highlight of the capital city.

Hanoi's authorities plan to expand the weekend pedestrian zone around the capital's iconic Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter to boost tourism and trade in goods and services.

Developing quality tourism is one of the goals set by Hanoi in its 2025 Urban Economic Development Plan, which looks ahead to 2030. Accordingly, the city plans to develop pedestrian streets in the Old Quarter - Hoan Kiem Lake, Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam area, Ngoc Khanh Lake; and improve the quality of culinary space in Dong Xuan night market, Tong Duy Tan Street, Ngoc Island - Ngu Xa area.

Pham Tuan Long, Chairman of the Hoan Kiem District People's Committee, said: "This extension, linking the south and north of the Old Quarter, completes the pedestrian zone to promote the Old Quarter and the special national relic of Hoan Kiem Lake."  

The walking space around Hoan Kiem Lake and surrounding areas in downtown Hanoi have become famous to numerous international tourists. Photo: Pham Hung/ The Hanoi Times

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

"The pedestrian-only zone has become a magnet for tourists and helped diversify the activities available to them, so Hanoi plans to turn the Old Quarter, already a major tourist attraction, into a center of Vietnamese culture," the chairman stressed.

According to the city government's plan, by 2024, Hanoi will have three more pedestrian streets in the city center, two in Dong Da District and one in Ba Dinh District.

This year, Dong Da District People's Committee will prepare a plan for the Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam pedestrian street and Nguyen Van Tuyet food street. The Hoang Cau-Hao Nam pedestrian street is planned for 2024. It will be part of a larger pedestrian area connecting Hoang Cau Lake and Hanoi's first metro line [Cat Linh - Ha Dong urban railway].

Ba Dinh District officials are finalizing the plan for a business service quarter and pedestrian street around Ngoc Khanh Lake. The 12-hectare project, including the area around the lake and a 3,800-square-meter flower garden on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, could open in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Hanoi currently has five pedestrian zones, including the one around Hoan Kiem Lake and its surrounding area, part of the Old Quarter, a 900-meter section of Trinh Cong Son Street, the ancient citadel of Son Tay, Tran Nhan Tong Street and its environs.

The pedestrian streets are closed to motorized vehicles from 7:00 pm on Friday to midnight on Sunday in Summer. In Winter, the ban starts one hour earlier. Approximately 18,000-25,000 people visit the zone every day.

The Hoan Kiem Lake weekend promenade and its environs in downtown Hanoi have become a brand, a cultural boulevard, and a highlight of the capital city.

The pedestrian zone has contributed to ensuring safety and order, gradually reducing motorized vehicles, creating a new lifestyle for Hanoi residents, and promoting Hanoi as a city of peace.

The walking street around Hoan Kiem Lake began in 2016 as an initiative to promote Vietnamese culture and provide a public space for locals and visitors to gather and hang out. After a three-year trial period, the closure of the Hoan Kiem Lake area to pedestrians on weekends was institutionalized starting January 1, 2020.