Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Bui Vien and Ta Hien Walking Street, a nightlife tourist attraction in Saigon, is an ideal venue for Western guests and young Saigonese to come to eat and hang out every time they go down the street. Ty’s great to see tourists back … and These streets are a Must See in Vietnam … Your Editor

This picture has been taken before the pandemic

Bui Vien street is so-called “Western Street” (Pho Tay) referring to its Western culture-orientated features. Before becoming a walking city, Bui Vien street was crowded with backpackers coming here to have fun, try unfamiliar cuisines and explore a new place during their trip to Saigon.

Bui Vien and Ta Hien, Vietnam’s busiest backpacker streets, are again buzzing with the appearance of international tourists after over two years of closure. 

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

The bustling scene at the intersection of Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter at night every day now as most restaurants and beer stalls are bursting at the seams.

Ta Hien is only about 200 meters long, connecting with Luong Ngoc Quyen, Ma May and Hang Bac streets and home to bars, beer stalls and restaurants, attracting tens of thousands of weekend revelers.

Last year as Hanoi encountered a surge in community transmissions during the fourth coronavirus wave, the food and beer hub was left deserted city authorities suspended beer stalls, cafes and banned gatherings of more than 10 people over Covid fears.

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Since mid-March, city authorities allowed food and beverage locations to remain open until midnight. Earlier, there had been a 9 p.m. curfew as part of Covid-19 prevention measures.

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

“We first came to Vietnam. Hanoi is really beautiful. We would continue visiting Hoi An, Da Lat and Ho Chi Minh City,” Emily (R) and her friend Vikrant said while drinking beer at Ta Hien Street. 

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

A group of tourists from HCMC drink beer on Ta Hien Street.

“This was the first time we went to Hanoi. In addition to visiting tourist attractions, we also took a food tour and enjoyed as many dishes in the capital as possible,” said Hoa Tien, a member of the group.

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Vuong Ngoc Linh, owner of a food stall on Ta Hien Street, introduces her stall’s signature dishes to customers. 

“During two years of Covid, the stall’s income was only 40% of pre-pandemic levels. After the government reopened tourism activities, our business has begun to revive,” said Linh.

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Crowds flood Saigon’s Bui Vien, Vietnam’s most famous backpacker area that is chockfull of bars, discotheques and nightclubs on the night of Aug. 28. 

Nighttime business on Bui Vien, which is closed to vehicles during weekends, heavily relies on foreign tourists. It used to be filled with foreigners day and night, but with Vietnam’s borders closed, nightlife here virtually grounded to a halt.

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Beer stalls occupy the sidewalks along the 700-meter-street.

After 10 p.m. is the busiest time on Bui Vien Street with loud music and flashing lights until the wee hours of the next morning. 

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Gustavo Romero (C) from Spain hangs out with his friends on Bui Vien Street. 

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Nguyen Viet Lam, owner of a restaurant on Bui Vien, said rent on the backpacker street costs from VND30 to 40 million ($1,280-1,700) a month.

During the pandemic, he had to borrow money to maintain his business as Ho Chi Minh City had several times closed non-essential businesses including the nightlife economy to prevent the spread of Covid. 

With the return of foreign tourists, Lam finds his business “is gradually getting better.”

Nightlife in Bui Vien, Ta Hien backpacker streets back in full swing

Bars, discotheques and beer clubs resumed operation in early January after eight months of closure as HCMC suffered its most challenging fourth Covid wave that resulted in month-long lockdown measures. 

There are around 500 karaoke parlors, bars and discos in HCMC.

Written By Giang Huy, Thanh Tung for E.VnExpress.net

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Photo of Bui Vien Walking Street in 2017

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