Located in Van Mieu Park, Cao Lanh City Book Street attracted crowds of students and parents to visit the new cultural spot and take a look at thousands of books.

As this is the first book street in the Mekong Delta region, it is understandable that everyone coming in and out of the province would pay attention to it.

After the opening ceremony, local people have the opportunity to read books in the large and comfortable space of Van Mieu Park.

Promoting reading culture

On the opening day, November 19, many parents and children visited the book street to enjoy the newest entertainment location.

The book street covers an area of 10 hectares in Ward 1, Cao Lanh City and is open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. This is the first book street in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region and the fifth in the whole country. 

In addition to 19 stores, Cao Lanh City Book Street also offers a variety of opportunities to gain experience on the culture of Dong Thap, enjoy calligraphy, drink lotus tea, try handicraft skills, and more. 

The book street is a project of Ngoi Sao Bien Sai Gon Joint Stock Company. Six bookstores will be exempted from rent over a special priority of local authorities who hope to promote a reading culture.

The company behind the project estimates that about 2,000 visitors come to Van Mieu Park daily. On special occasions such as Tet or other festivals, the number can increase to 500,000 visitors.

Nguyen Phi Hung, a 12th-grade student from Lap Vo 2 High School in Lap Vo District, came to the book street early on the opening day.

“I am very proud that there is a book street in our hometown, offering a variety of books,” said the student.

“I often read self-help books, but it takes me so long to order the books online, so now it’s easier for me to get them.”

Huynh Tan Dat, another visitor, stops by the book street while traveling with his family to Dong Thap for the weekend.

“I was surprised that there is such a book street in the Mekong Delta,” Dat said.

“This could also be an attraction for tourists because the book street is located in a park, an open space where visitors can feel comfortable and relax, while children have a playground here at the same time.”

Crowds of visitors arrive at the Book Street in Cao Lanh City, the first of its kind in the Mekong Delta region. Photo: Dang Tuyet - Tuoi Tre

Crowds of visitors arrive at the Book Street in Cao Lanh City, Dong Thap Province, the first of its kind in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. Photo: Dang Tuyet / Tuoi Tre

Another cultural space for locals

The opening of the new book street aims to create a cultural space as well as a place to read for visitors, who are both locals and tourists.

Vo Phan Thanh Minh, chairman of the Cao Lanh People’s Committee, said the establishment of the book street in the city center will be a model for future planning of reading culture in the province.

Minh believes that Dong Thap residents are proud to have the first book street in the Mekong Delta.

“We hope that through various activities, the book street will become a friendly destination for visitors, a must-visit destination for tourists visiting Mekong Delta provinces, including Dong Thap. Thus, the book route contributes to promoting tourism and attracts more and more domestic and foreign visitors over time,” Minh added.

According to Tran Tan Luc, chairman of the Dong Thap Provincial Literature and Art Association, the new book street provides a great opportunity for locals, especially book lovers in the province. 

Luc said that a large number of young artists in Dong Thap are active in various fields of art, including literature, photography, theater, and folklore.

They urgently need a cultural space where they can access a variety of books that meet their needs for learning and research.

Doan Tan Buu, vice-chairman of the Dong Thap People’s Committee, said the provincial administration will find ways to support publishers and businesses that invest in the book street. 

“The book street in Cao Lanh is expected to help publishers and cultural enterprises open up new markets in the Mekong Delta,” Buu said.

Also on November 19, Cao Lanh City received the title of Learning City from UNESCO, becoming the fifth city in Vietnam to be recognized with the honor by the United Nations cultural organization.

The other four learning cities are Ho Chi Minh City, Sa Dec City (also in Dong Thap Province), Vinh City in Nghe An Province, and Hai Duong City in Hai Duong Province.

For Dong Thap, it is incredibly special to have two learning cities among only five such cities nationwide.

The title is an international recognition of the province’s attractiveness in terms of investment, human resources, and its efforts to achieve the goals of prosperity and sustainability.

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