Vietnam's capital set to undergo tourism facelift

31st Jul 2013

Vietnam's capital is to undergo a tourism makeover to make it even more irresistible to holidaymakers.

Visitors on city breaks to Hanoi's cultural sites will benefit from new plans to preserve and develop the Thang Long and the Co Loa citadels.

The Ministry of Construction's Institute of Architecture, Urban and Rural Planning proposals should be completed by 2020 followed by the restoration of selected buildings.

Possible changes include:

- the central part of Thang Long Citadel complex becoming an open cultural park, blending with the nearby archaeological site at No.18 Hoang Dieu Street next to Parliament House

- the expansive roadway becoming a pedestrian mall or linked to the old palace area by a subway

- the old Nguyen Dynasty flag tower near Dien Bien Phu Street joining to Lenin Park

- the area between the old Doan Mon Gate into the site of the old Royal Palace and the tower being turned into a square

- enlarging and restoring the area around Kinh Thien Palace, which was destroyed for a French colonial building

- removing the present military office in the building

- using another royal building, the Hau Lau Palace Pavilion, to house antiques

- restoring staircases at the huge North Gate of the citadel, scarred by shells from the invading French forces

The imperial citadel's central sector was officially listed in UNESCO's World Heritage Site three years ago.

The Co Loa site was made a national special relic earlier this year.

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