Viet Nam News
Many Hanoians have high praise for the automatic selling machines-- also called vending machines-- that have operated in some central districts for a year, including around Hoàn Kiếm (Sword) Lake and Giảng Võ Lake.
Nguyễn Mai Phương, of Giảng Võ Street, said the first time she used one of the machines was when she was walking near Giảng Võ Lake at night. She felt thirsty but had forgotten to bring drinking water, so she bought a small bottle from the machine.
“The machine is friendly to use and the price is reasonable, not higher than in grocery store, only VNĐ5,000 (US$22 cents) per bottle,” she said.
Phương said that she thought the installation of the machines was a sign of Hà Nội’s increasing development. Such machines have been used in developed countries for a long time, she said.
“It is very needed for a dynamic city like Hà Nội,” she added.
A year after the first machines were installed, the city now has over 50. Each machine is 1.2 sq.m and contains 300 products, kept below 5 degrees Celsius. The machines, provided by the Việt Nam Vending Machine, accept notes including VNĐ5,000 ($0.22) and VNĐ10,000 ($0.44). One limitation of the machines is that they do not accept wrinkled or small bills.
Nguyễn Hà Thu, of Nguyễn Văn Cừ Street, said that the city should install more such machines, especially around crowded areas such as bus stations, train stations, schools, hospitals and industrial zones, the Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) reported.
Buying a water bottle from a vending machine was more convenient than finding a grocery store, she added. Additionally, the machines allow people to avoid the worry that street vendors could overcharge them, she said.
Vũ Thu Hà, of Lê Duẩn Street, also applauded the machines’ installation but thought that the machines should only be installed in areas with a high number of tourists and high-rise office buildings.
If the city planned to install them in other areas, it should seek input from residents of the area who will want to avoid the machine becoming broken or damaged.
Đoàn Thu Thủy, of Hai Bà Trưng District, said that although the machines only sell drinks now, she hoped they would sell snacks in the future.
More machines installed
Lê Hồng Thăng, head of the city’s Industry and Trade Department, said that the department was collecting ideas from relevant agencies and will submit a proposal to install more vending machines in the city by 2020.
As scheduled, the department would set up a team to check areas where it is considering installing the machines, and then report to the city’s administration, he said.
According to the department, the People’s Committee of Tây Hồ District will soon open the pedestrian street Trịnh Công Sơn and several automatic selling machines will be installed there.— VNS