Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Municipal authorities have got a clear message from the public, including foreign visitors – they like the extended nightlife option.
A year after allowing restaurants, bars and other entertainment establishments in the Hà Nội Old Quarter to remain open late, the capital city has received positive feedback from residents and visitors.
Last September, the Ha Noi People’s Committee agreed to allow restaurants, bars and entertainment centres in the Old Quarter to stay open until 2am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on a pilot basis.
The move was applauded by travel companies who had for long complained that there were no entertainment activities for tourists after midnight, which made their stay in Hà Nội less interesting and therefore, short.
Hàng Buồm is one of the most crowded pedestrian streets in the Old Quarter. On weekends, the street presents ar performances and many street food vendors, drawing in thousands upon thousands of residents and visitors who throng the place for long hours. This also happens on Tạ Hiện and Lương Ngọc Quyến streets, which have become the most popular place to be on weekends..
Jose Pradas, a tourist from Spain, said that he was very happy about the late night services in the Old Quarter. It was appropriate and necessary as many tourists, including him, wanted to experience nightlife in the area, he said. Such services would help those who’d come in from different time zones and could not sleep. They can have fun, Pradas said.
Conditions, security measures
Currently, there are 44 registered places allowed to operate until 2am. These places have to meet several conditions, including safety and security, good sound insulation, and not sell alcohol to people under 18.
Nguyễn Quyết Thắng, vice chairman of Hàng Buồm Ward’s People’s Committee, said that there were ten businesses operating late on the street, attracting tens of thousands of tourists and increasing the State budget revenue by 60 per cent.
The turnover of these businesses has nearly doubled, it is reported, Thắng said.
Meanwhile, the Hoàn Kiếm District People’s Committee has said that it has worked with ward authorities and local police to set up special forces to ensure the security in the area.
The forces patrol the streets and conducted random checks on crowded bars and entertainment areas.
Committee officials said there was a need for checks and other controls because the operation of bars and entertainment centres could lead to drunkenness, public disorder, drug abuse and other crimes.
One of them said that many cafes and restaurants played loud music, which seriously affected the lives of local residents. Some have been selling “funky balls,” nitrous oxide-filled balloons.
The district’s Management Board No380, in co-operation with the Market Watch No2, has led inter-disciplinary teams to inspect and seize hundreds of nitrous oxide cylinders since early this year.
The team has also asked tens of businesses to commit to reduce music and stop causing noise after 2am.
A 2am deadline
Dương Đức Tuấn, chairman of the district’s People’s Committee said that based on the initial success of the pilot late night services, the committee has prepared a draft decree on allowing businesses in the Old Quarter, around Hoàn Kiếm Lake and some surrounding areas to stay open until 2am.
The decree will contain conditions that organisations and businesses have to meet, as well as the scope and duration of the pilot period.
The draft decree has received comments from the Standing Committee of the district’s Party and related departments, and will be submitted to the municipal administration for consideration soon
If it is approved, the city will have more entertainment activities and more chances to develop tourism, Tuan said. – VNS