A flea market is expected to be held every weekend at Bach Dang Wharf park in downtown HCM City, according to the People’s Committee of District 1.
The park at Bach Dang Wharf in HCM City’s central District 1 will be the site for a weekend flea market that will also promote Vietnamese brands. — VNA/VNS Photo
The District 1 Public Service Company (PUSCO) and several government agencies earlier this week spoke with the district’s committee to finalise the plan before submitting it to the city’s People’s Committee.
The flea market is one of many activities that aim to revive Bach Dang Wharf, which has fallen into disrepair and has long been abandoned. The flea market will open while authorities work on a bigger plan for the wharf area.
Phan Quoc Vinh, who has lived near the wharf for more than 40 years, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that many people had hesitated to visit the park for fear of being robbed or pickpocketed because of the lack of lighting at the wharf.
Together with Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, the new flea market at Ton Duc Thang Street’s Bach Dang Wharf is expected to attract more tourists as well as locals.
Products from various Vietnamese brands will also be promoted. Depending on the theme of each flea market event, which could be fashion, food or other topics, certain brands and products will be chosen for display.
The market will have 100 booths spread across 100 metres of land from the hydrofoil centre to an oval room at the wharf. Visitors can park at designated spots that extend from the room to the wall next to Ba Son Pier.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, has also recently given support to another project, the “Con duong am nhac” (Music Street), which will be set up near Bach Dang Wharf.
Similar to the flea market, the music street will provide people with opportunities to learn about traditional Vietnamese music and other genres. Musical events and exhibitions will be hosted regularly.
Slow park revival
Years ago, the wharf was popular for various activities it offered, including HCM City – Vung Tau City hydrofoils, District 1 and District 2 ferries, dinner riverboats, and river cruises.
City residents also used to jog around the wharf’s park when it was in better condition.
In 2013, Saigontourist Company was in charge of reviving the park. However, since little process had been made, the city’s People’s Committee last year decided to hand over the project to PUSCO.
Saigontourist Company is still behind the project, with plans to turn the park into a square, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Nguyen Dang Son, deputy director of the Institute for Urban Studies and Infrastructure Development, said the upgrade of the Bach Dang Wharf park should be designed in a way that complements city infrastructure along Sai Gon and Thu Thiem river banks.
“The city shouldn’t have one construction unit that plans everything, but instead should launch a competition to attract more talent and ideas, similarly to what Da Nang did with Han River,” he said.
Nguyen Trong Hoa, former director of the HCM City Institute for Development Studies, said that it might take 10 years to fully develop the park.
“Authorities need to ensure that river banks along Sai Gon River, including Bach Dang Wharf’s park, have to be for the public, not for investors.”
The revamped wharf park is part of a larger project that aims to upgrade the west bank of the Sai Gon River, which includes Sai Gon Bridge, Tan Cang, Ba Son, Bach Dang Wharf, District 4 Port and Tan Thuan Bridge.