Authorities in Vientiane Capital ordered the immediate closure of the Sihom Night Market, also referred to as “Hengboun Food and Culture Street,” yesterday evening.
Authorities were filmed driving through the streets yesterday evening making an announcement via a PA system, informing vendors and visitors of the market’s impending closure.
Vendors said they were told that the market would be closed the following day, and no further business activity would be permitted at the site. They were told to move to a new location as mandated by the government.
Authorities inform vendors at the Hengboun Food and Culture Street (Sihom Night Market) in #Vientiane to close down their stalls. The market is popular with both locals and tourists in #Laos, and many have expressed dissatisfaction with the short notice regarding its closure. pic.twitter.com/sf6fHQ70d0
— The Laotian Times (@LaotianTimes) March 24, 2023
Authorities also informed shopkeepers to keep the streets clean and tidy at all times.
“They just told us out of the blue around 6 pm to clear out and move somewhere else,” a vendor told Laotian Times.
“We will probably try to set up here again tonight, though,” the vendor added.
Vendors say that it was not clear who the authorities were that ordered the closure, and no official written notice has been issued.
The Sihom night market has been a popular destination among local youth, as well as foreign tourists visiting the city.
Vientiane Capital has been taking measures to tidy up in recent days, with telecom companies ordered to bury messy cables, and the Mayor of Vientiane clamping down on noise pollution.