Before submitting the proposal, the Truc Bach Ward People’s Committee conducted a public opinion poll in the area, which resulted in 330 out of 338 votes in total (97.6%) in favor of the project. Notably, many expressed the desire to participate.

A part of gorgeous Truc Bach Lake in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Photo: Quang Bui

The Hanoi People’s Committee has commissioned the municipal Department of Transport to assess the proposal in consultation with relevant departments and agencies, report back, and counsel the municipal authority on the proposal.

“The project, if implemented, will lead to the creation of another 33 catering establishments as well as generating jobs for around 230 workers. The walking space would not only create a highlight for the Truc Bach Lake area but also contribute to tourism and urban economic development suitable with the direction of the Hanoi Party Committee,” it stated.

Under the project, the area around Truc Bach Lake will be closed to traffic and become a pedestrian quarter dedicated to gastronomy from 6 pm to midnight on Friday and from 6 am to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

After the trial period, the city may consider opening the walking space seven days a week as well as extending the vehicle bans from 6 pm to 5 am the next day (24 hours on Saturday and Sunday).

Ba Dinh District also asked for the city’s permission to set up a project to renovate the related area’s infrastructure, collect rents on business and parking premises in the area as well as develop plans for street art and cultural activities.

A cafeteria in Truc Bach Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. Photo: Tuan Ngo

Covering 4.5 hectares, with only two small bridges to the main lakeside, Dao Ngoc-Ngu Xa Peninsula, or Truc Bach Peninsula, is located on Truc Bach Lake, southeast of West Lake and separated by Thanh Nien Road – one of the most romantic meeting spots for young Hanoians.

The lake is also where U.S. Senator John McCain, then a Navy aviator, was shot down on a mission and taken prisoner during the anti-American War. Besides a lakeside monument to commemorate the event, there are a lot of religious attractions nearby including Cau Nhi Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda, Than Quang, and Chau Long pagodas, Quan Thanh Temple, among others. 

Surrounding Truc Bach lakes are countless cafes and restaurants as well. Some famous specialties to locals and tourists alike include Ngu Xa’s fresh rice noodles rolls and Thai-style seafood with rice vermicelli, Truc Bach’s frog hot pot, Chau Long’s pork offal congee, and Bao Oanh Café’s coconut ice cream, among others.

Currently, Hanoi has an official culinary space on Tong Duy Tan Street and Cam Chi alley in Hoan Kiem District. Other pedestrian spaces are the Hoan Kiem Lake and surrounding area, Trinh Cong Son Street, and the Son Tay Citadel, which is scheduled to open by the end of this month, on the occasion of the National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).

Meanwhile, Hanoi made a plan to open another walking space around the Thien Quang Lake in Hai Ba Trung District in 2022.