Saigon’s legendary party street ditches the vehicles


Many of us thought we would never see the day that something so progressive would hit the streets of the backpacker district, Pham Ngu Lao. We’re more accustomed to broken bottles and glasses, errant vomit and the well-worn high heels of ladies of the night hitting that street (sorry, couldn’t help it).


Following a month-long delay (it could’ve been more), Bui Vien’s Walking Street was officially opened in August. On opening night, two stages were set up featuring performances, alongside street food stalls and the usual shenanigans of the strip, creating a carnival-like atmosphere.


The People’s Committee of District 1 had piloted a vehicle ban from 7pm until 2am at weekends in the period leading up to the official opening of the walking street to test the waters — they obviously liked what they saw. Drainage pipes were also replaced, along with the footpaths that run the length of the street in an improvement project that to this point has received the tick of approval from just about everyone.


There are reportedly 146 businesses operating along the nightlife strip, including hotels, restaurants, bars and small clubs, coffee shops and clothing and souvenir stores that will benefit from the development.


Walk This Way

The Bui Vien Walking Street follows the 2015 redevelopment of Nguyen Hue Street (HCMC’s main drag) into a walking street and the gradual pedestrianisation of streets around Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake over the past few years.


Ultimately, Bui Vien’s transformation into a walking street is part of a bigger plan to pedestrianise a larger swathe of the streets of District 1. If and when that happens is anyone’s guess, but if Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien are anything to go by — projects that the government touted would happen — they will in fact happen... at some stage. Then, expect more zones in central Saigon in the future where shoppers, travellers and workers can walk around safely without the prospect of getting run over by those pesky little motorbikes.



To read the other articles in this series, click on the following links:


Years of speculation over whether the fast food behemoth would ever enter Hanoi are now at an end
The Vietnamese film industry has experienced a Renaissance over the past few years. Em Chua 18 is
Thousands flocked to My Dinh Stadium to get a piece of the artist called the world’s biggest DJ
But despite the optimism, the team doesn’t make it past the group stage   The reason why
The movie that made Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ name in Vietnam has been both a resounding success and a
Three months, three storms and a death toll of almost 300   Vietnam’s location on the edge
Ariana Grande cancels her concert, disappointed fans   Ariana Grande made it to Vietnam,
Simultaneous break causes internet traffic jam   The internet came to a grinding halt for
New public transport service about to float your boat   By the time you read this,
Well over 100,000 cases of dengue fever reported in 2017   Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City ...
Street food grows up with designated areas for street-side vendors   In October Word ...
The family book and ID card are being replaced with a new system   In 2009, Ngo Thu Huong
Trees breathe life into the capital’s “concrete jungle”   Looking to ditch its “concrete
A marathon returns to Ho Chi Minh City for the first time in 25 years   While ...
Hanoi gets a repeat performance of the hugely popular conference on ideas   TED Talks are
Saigon’s legendary party street ditches the vehicles   Many of us thought we would never


Matt Cowan

Managing Editor of Word Vietnam. Destined to be a dairy farmer until he accepted a spur of the moment job offer in Japan in 1998. After making it big in Japan, he now finds himself wrangling stories in Vietnam instead of cows in Australia. Matt has been living in Saigon since 2010.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.

Online Partners