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May 17, 2023 / 17:38

Hoi An Ancient Town opens a more pedestrian street, enforces entrance payment

For a cheap and convenient way to visit the ancient city, foreigners and long-term visitors to Hoi An are recommended to buy the All Attractions ticket.

Hoi An Ancient Town has officially opened a new pedestrian street space and tightened toll collection for tourists to the old town area, according to the People’s Committee of Hoi An City in the central province of Quang Nam.

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 The newly opened pedestrian space in Phan Chau Trinh Street in Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province. Photo: Quang Nam Newspaper

According to Nguyen Van Lanh - Vice Chairman of Hoi An City People's Committee, the newly opened pedestrian street can help create a new tourist highlight and attract more travelers to this famous Japanese-style ancient city in Southeast Asia.

"The new pedestrian street, which stretches from the intersection of Nguyen Hue - Phan Chau Trinh streets to the Cao Hong Lanh - Phan Chau Trinh intersection, will be opened daily," he said.

This 1.5-kilometer street is famous among locals for its countless busy small shops, restaurants, ancient relics, and tourist attractions in the heart of Hoi An City.

During the trial period, which will last until the end of 2023, the pedestrian street will be closed to motorized traffic from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm in Summer and from 5:30 pm to 9 pm in Winter.

Starting in 2024, the pedestrian street will be extended to the Hoang Dieu - Phan Chau Trinh intersection and will be open daily from 3 pm to 9.30 pm in summer and from 3 pm to 9 pm in winter.

Lanh said the expansion of this pedestrian street had received the consent of a large number of local people. "Hoi An will have more spaces for public activities, enriching the tourism products, thus better serving the visitors to Hoi An Ancient Town," he said.

The art performance show titled "Hoi An Memory" in Hoi An Ancient Town. Photo: Bao Ngoc

Many cultural activities and art performances will be organized at various tourist attractions in the new pedestrian zone, such as a Hat Boi folk performance at Van Chi Minh Huong Art Center, a music performance by the "Old Melody" group at 49 Phan Chu Trinh; and other spaces for tea ceremony, calligraphy practice, traditional handicraft experience, and others.

The "pedestrian and non-motorized vehicle zone" model was first implemented by Hoi An Old Town in 2004 in the area of Bridge Pagoda, Le Loi, and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai streets.

In 2015, the area was expanded to Nguyen Phuc Chu Street, and in 2017, it was further enlarged to cover the eastern streets of the current Old Quarter.

In addition to the expansion of the space, many monuments have been included in the tour route, such as the Hainan Assembly Hall, Museum of Traditional Medicine, Hoi An Community House, Japanese Cultural Gallery, Tran Quy Night Market, and others.

Tighten toll collection

Foreign visitors to Hoi An Ancient Town. Photo: Nguoi Hoi An

Nguyen Van Lanh also added that the controversial policy of "Strengthening Fee Collection in Hoi An Ancient Town" took effect from the afternoon of May 15.

According to him, despite facing many opposing opinions in the past the tightening of fee collection in Hoi An Ancient Town is still going on to increase revenue for local heritage protection.

"The revenue from the fee will help Hoi An not charge its residents while consolidating the system of public toilets, maintaining urban order and environmental sanitation to serve tourists better," he said.

For foreigners and long-term visitors to Hoi An Ancient Town, the city will apply an "all attractions ticket" policy so they can visit the old town as many times as they like, Lanh said.

"The entrance fee for Hoi An Ancient Town is VND80,000 or about US$3.4. It is acceptable and even much cheaper than the entrance fee to other heritage sites in Vietnam and the world," Deborah Hugh, an Australian expatriate in Hoi An, told  The Hanoi Times.  

 A corner of Hoi An Ancient Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Photo: Bao Ngoc

Travelers visiting Hoi An in groups will be picked up by electric cars from the parking lots to some venues in the old town center, including the space in front of House No. 8 Hoang Dieu, Hoi An Museum, and Hoai River Square.

In addition to the 13 available toll booths, Hoi An has added two more at 332 Ly Thuong Kiet, a bus station on Hung Vuong Street, and dozens of booths outside the Old Quarter.

There are also more guards at the gateways to the Old Quarter to check tickets.

The Hoi An authority also said that all attraction tickets will be available at accommodation businesses in Hoi An Ancient Town, such as homestays, hostels, and hotels.