Ho Chi Minh City to Be Turned into a Nightlife Town

Despite being a city with over six million inhabitants, Ho Chi Minh City nightlife is far less exciting than neighbouring metropolises such as Bangkok or Hong Kong. City authorities want to change that.

According to local newspaper Tuoi Tree News, Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration, chaired a meeting with the municipal tourism and police departments last week, discussing the allowable time limits for operations of service establishments citywide.

According to a government’s decree, bars at hotels from three-star and above, and discotheques at four-star lodging facilities and higher are allowed to operate until 2:00 am. However venues authorized to open later are regularly being inspected by police officers and other agencies, according to Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the tourism department, complained at the meeting.

“Despite this regulation, businesses have complained that they would be inspected whenever they stayed open through the night,” Vu said.

A representative from the Ho Chi Minh City police department defended that they had never inspected any hotels from three-star for the after-midnight operations.

“The inspections have mostly been launched into complicated areas suspected of hosting social evil activities,” the police representative said.

Deputy chairman Tuyen said relevant agencies should follow the government’s decree and allow eligible businesses to open after midnight, reported Tuoi Tree News.

“A facility must only be inspected if there are ample grounds for the check or complaints about its operation, not because it opens after twelve,” the city’s leader pressed.

Tuyen added that it is unreasonable to check a violation-free bar, and doing so is a sign of harassing businesses. “Any service provider hit by such harassment can report to the municipal administration,” he said.

Vu, the city’s tourism chief, said bars and discotheques opening after twelve are not enough to attract more international tourists, who tend to stay up late due to time zone changes.

Foreign tourists want to have some fun and engage in entertainment and cuisine when most locals are asleep, Vu said, suggesting that some tourist-packed areas in the city be allowed to operate through midnight.

For instance, establishments on Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham Streets, known as the ‘backpackers’ areas,’ should be permitted to service tourists until 2:00 am, according to the tourism chief.

Vu added that other places, such as Nguyen Tri Phuong Street in District 5 and Thanh Thai Street in District 10, can seek specific permission from the municipal administration for their after-midnight operations.

In response, Tuyen said local authorities must file their proposal to the city’s administration if they want to have a ‘sleepless area’ in their areas.

“Authorities must also seek feedback from residents living around that area, not only the businesses, before submitting the proposal,” Tuyen noted. “We will consider proposals that are made to better serve foreign tourists.”

(Source: Tuoi Tree News)