Mar 6, 2014

New eco-friendly travel's choice: Hoi An cycling

Hoi An’s People’s Committee says bicycles have been selected as the vehicle of choice for the world heritage town to help it become an eco-friendly destination.

The city’s people’s committee vice chairman, Truong Van Bay, said favoring cycles over cars and other transport would in the long-term help to preserve the environment and make the town more friendly for visitors.

“We will encourage local people to use standard bicycles, or battery-powered bicycles, and to walk more to keep the city clean and residents healthy.”

The city has gradually limited the use of motorbikes in the old quarter, prior to banning motorbikes in these areas, he added.

“Cycles are very popular with tourists to get around the town and visit nearby beaches.”

Since 2002, the city has successfully operated a pedestrian street in the old quarter and hosted Nature Day for the past four years, the vice chairman said.

The city’s natural resources and environment office head, Nguyen Van Hien, said cycles were used by mainly by women and children in the city.

“They prefer riding bicycles to markets and schools, and around town. The old quarter is quiet with pedestrians and bikes during the day…evening and at night time most people just walk around the old quarter.”

The city’s people’s committee plans to promote bicycle and introduce a Car Free Day in March before establishing the cycle only policy. It will need to accommodate around 100,000 bicycles if the project takes off all residents comply with the new policy.

The world heritage town was first in Vietnam to host a Car Free Day, in an effort to make the environment cleaner.

The city also launched an action programme to stop the use of plastic bags in the town.

Last year, UNESCO-recognized the city’s solar power public lighting system along the city’s Hoai River Square as a major step forward in maintaining its world heritage status.

Also, Hoi An has been chosen for the 2013 Townscape Award by the UN-Habitat Regional Office in Asia.

Hoi An was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1999 as an example of a well-preserved trading post that was a port of call for traders from China in 1600s.

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