|Easing congestion: A street in the old quarter of Hoi An city opens for pedestrians in the morning. The ancient city plans to expand walking streets for tourists to ease overcrowding in the old quarter. — VNS Photos Công Thành|
Hội An — The ancient city of Hội An will expand the area for walking streets to Hoàng Diệu and Hội An market – outside of the old quarter – in an effort to create more space for tourists and ease the crowding of tourists in old quarters.
Vice chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Nguyễn Văn Sơn told Việt Nam News that the pedestrian area, which was begun in 2002, was really overloaded with tourists and it created a burden on traffic, trading, shopping and tourism service.
Sơn said the city assigned Hội An market as a cuisine centre and night market for tourists and streets around the market were designed as pedestrian areas.
As scheduled, walking streets open from 8am to 11am in the morning and from 3pm till 10pm. Motorbikes or engine vehicles are allowed access for four hours per day and at night time only.
Last year, Hội An, a UNESCO heritage site, designated Nguyễn Phúc Chu Street a walking street where only pedestrians and non-engined vehicles are allowed.
The street is located to the south of the Hoài River along Hội An Statute Park and Nguyễn Hoàng night market, which attracts a large number of tourists with cultural and art performances, traditional folk games and its shopping area.
Since 2002 Hội An has earmarked several streets for pedestrians and non-engined vehicles to reduce noise and ensure people’s safety.
The ancient city has made efforts to build a green and clean city based on sustainable development.
The central city was the first city in Việt Nam to host a Car Free Day and the first location in the central province launching the 3-R (reduce, reuse and recycle) programme while promoting the use of reusable bags as well as the operation of a solar-powered lighting system in the city’s square.
The city plans to promote bicycle use among public agencies, as well as boost bicycle use among local residents, with a goal of 100,000 local bicycles in use.
Most foreign tourists use bicycles while touring the city, beaches and villages during their visits to Hội An.
The city’s Hoài River and its channels made the list of the 10 most famous canals in the world on the US-based travel website touropia.com in 2014.
Hội An was chosen for the 2013 Townscape Award by the UN-Habitat Regional Office in Asia. It was also listed among the top 10 Asian cities in US magazine Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards in 2012.
A survey showed 27 per cent of international tourists visit the city to learn about the culture and history of Hội An, the Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, and the Chàm Islands Biosphere Reserve. — VNS