​Ho Chi Minh City to pilot double-decker tour in downtown

Ho Chi Minh City to pilot double-decker tour in downtown
An open-top double decker bus carries tourists in Hanoi. File photo: Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has plans to trial a tour around the downtown area on open-top double-decker buses, a tourist activity that has been carried out in Hanoi since mid-2018.

The proposal came from the Vietnamtourism-Hanoi JSC, which said it would be in charge of implementing the pilot program if approved, according to the municipal transport department.

Tourists will be able to hop on and off the open-top double-decker buses at multiple stops across the city center, namely the Nha Rong (Dragon) Wharf on Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ho Chi Minh Campaign Museum on Le Duan Street, War Remnants Museum on Vo Van Tan Street, and along such streets as Ton Duc Thang, Pham Ngu Lao, Truong Dinh, and Cong Xa Paris.

The Vietnamtourism-Hanoi JSC previously suggested that the first and final destinations of the bus tour be situated on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street.

The transport department, however, wanted the two terminals to be placed at the Municipal Theater, not too far from Nguyen Hue, which is a busy street.

The tour is expected to be available between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm daily.

The plan must also take into consideration the safety of people on the upper deck as electric and telecom wires along local streets have yet to be completely put underground, the transport department said.

While showing support for the plan proposed by Vietnamtourism-Hanoi JSC, the transport department fell short of elaborating on when the pilot program would be initiated.

Under a central government-backed plan, Ho Chi Minh City is among seven Vietnamese localities where an open-top double-decker bus tour is allowed to be piloted, aside from Hanoi, Da Nang City, Quang Nam Province, Thua Thien-Hue Province, Lam Dong Province, and Kien Giang Province.

Such a tour was officially launched in Hanoi in late May 2018, following a successful test run since July 2017.

The three buses run between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm every day on famous streets in the Vietnamese capital, passing 30 local places of interest like Hoan Kiem Lake, the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Hanoi Opera House.

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