Tuesday 26th November 2019
One of Hanoi's most famous Instagram spots is it's Train Street. Located between Le Duan and Kham Tien street in Hanoi's Old Quarter, around 3pm and 7pm every day, a train hurtles through a series of narrow streets in Hanoi’s bustling, maze. The exact lane the train passes along is called Ngo 224 Le Duan as it connects Hanoi to the Southern capital Ho Chi Minh City.
Built in 1902 by the French, the railroad tracks take up nearly the entirety of the “train street,” as it’s been dubbed by the increasing trickle of tourists that come to glimpse the startling sight.
As the train passes, locals that are drying their laundry are carried inside, children ushered indoors and scooters pulled to the side to allow for the speeding train to pass, with only a couple of feet clearance on each side. Once the train has past, locals return to walking across or sitting on the tracks as soon as the train has passed.
However, recently authorities are clamping down on the cafes that line one of Hanoi's most famous roads, due to issues surrounding and increasing safety concerns. As a popular street for backpackers and Instagrammer's to get their perfect photo, caused a boom in cafes lining the street to cater fo the increase in tourism.
Authorities claim that the street has now become a danger to human life which struck a shutdown for the street to tourists. The icing on the cake was back in October 2019, when a train travelling through Hanoi was forced to re-route due to too many tourists on the track.
Local residents of Hanoi claim they have seen the train street transform from a novelty into a grown safety concerns. Still, controlling crowds and curbing bad social media behaviour is an ongoing problem in the travel industry, including other destinations in Asia. With 'over-tourism' becoming a new buzzword for issues that have slowly been developing for a while.
Most of the track is now closed to tourists and guarded by police at each entrance. However we were able to get across towards the North of the track as a Vietnamese local invited us into her cafe, where we sat and chatted with her. If you're still looking for your photo opportunity, head South towards the train station where there is a little strip unmanned by police.