Unfortunately, when you read this, the Train Street and all cafe next to the railway were closed by the local administrator for the visitors’ safety! But if you come there on your own for some nice pictures, it’s NO problem at all!
(CNN) — Authorities are clamping down on the cafes that line one of Hanoi’s most famous roads, citing overtourism and safety concerns.
On an Old Quarter thoroughfare, known as “train street,” locomotives rumble down an active track just inches away from homes and other buildings.
The juxtaposition of train tracks and residential housing has made it hugely popular among travelers to the capital of Vietnam.
But the municipal government of Hanoi, led by the local transit authority, has ordered that cafes alongside the heavily Instagrammed train tracks — which sprung up to cater to the tourism boom — close by October 12, 2019
Authorities cite danger to human life as the primary motivator for the shutdown. The boiling point apparently came on Sunday, October 6, when a train traveling through Hanoi was forced to re-route because there were too many tourists on the tracks, which were built in 1902 by the French.
“Though the railway cafes attract tourists, they are, in fact, violating some regulations,” Ha Van Sieu, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, told reporters at a press briefing.
He did not mention specific regulations but noted that the street has been an issue for some time.
In 2018, Vietnam-based writer Dave Fox told CNN Travel that “overtourism is a new buzzword for something that has been going on a long time.”
A longtime Hanoi resident, he watched as “train street” transformed from a cool novelty into a safety concern. “Travelers need to be mindful of optics,” he added.
When it comes to overtourism, some destinations face more of a challenge than others. While Hanoi’s government can close down cafes, it’s hard to totally shut down a public street inhabited by local residents.
Still, controlling crowds and curbing bad social media behavior is an ongoing problem in the travel industry, including other destinations in Asia.
In Indonesia, moves have been made to greatly restrict traveler access to Komodo Island, home to the famous Komodo dragon. Initially, the country had considered shutting the island to tourists completely, but settled on a plan with limited access to visitors who could pay a high access fee.
And nearby in Thailand, the heavily popular Maya Bay, made famous by the film “The Beach” has been closed since 2018 to repair environmental damage.
Where is Hanoi train street?
The railway running through the heart of Hanoi through many streets such as Phung Hung, Dien Bien Phu, Le Duan… visitors can start visiting the train street from the alley 224 on Le Duan street, or at 5 on Tran Phu street however the section through Phung Hung street is the most crowded and attractive.
The train street certainly came into tourists’ curiosity via many social network channels, that is the reason urging tourists on their Hanoi tours to hunt for it. The street is similar to the majority of the streets in Hanoi’s old quarter which are mixed from the slim, tall buildings with the bustling and narrow streets. If you are staying in the old quarter Hanoi, it’s easy to get to the railway street in walking distance, make your way to Phung Hung street intersecting with Tran Phu Street. Or take a cab/bike to a narrow street between Kham Thien and Le Duan street, exactly the lane passing along called Ngo 224 Le Duan.
You can visit the train street at these addresses:
- Ngõ 224 Lê Duẩn, Khâm Thiên, Đống Đa, Hà Nội and
- 5 Trần Phú, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Along Phung Hung street
If you wish to go the right time to see the train passing by, here’s the time schedules which the train passes through this tiny train street.
- Mon – Friday: 7 pm; 7.45 pm; 8.30 pm; 10 pm
- Weekend: 6 am; 9 am ; 11.20 am; 3.20 pm; 5.30 pm; 6 pm; 7 pm; 7.45 pm; 8.30 pm; 9 pm; 11 pm
The time might not be fixed and a 15-minute delay is usually expected. So you better arrive at least 30 minutes before the expected schedule to get a good viewing spot.
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