Hanoi Train Street wears deserted look as police prevent tourists’ entry

By Giang Huy   October 10, 2019 | 07:45 pm GMT+7

City police Thursday erected barriers on the famous Hanoi Train Street, barring tourists from entering the area due to safety concerns.

Around 8:30 a.m., more than 20 police officers started putting up barriers at railway crossings along the Hanoi Train Street where railway tracks run alongside Dien Bien Phu and Phung Hung streets in the heart of the Hanoi’s Old Quarter just a few feet away from residences on either side.The crackdown came after the Ministry of Transport had already ordered the city government to take urgent measures to remove street vendors and illegal businesses that have sprung up along both sides of the tracks.

Around 8:30 a.m, more than 20 police officers started putting up barriers at railway crossings along the Hanoi Train Street, where railway tracks run alongside Dien Bien Phu and Phung Hung streets in the city's Old Quarter just a few feet away from residences on either side.

The crackdown followed a Ministry of Transport directive that asked the city government to urgently remove street vendors and illegal businesses that had sprung up along both sides of the tracks.

Police officers work with each business household, asking them to pledge not to arrange tables and chairs along both sides of the train.This section of the tracks have become a favored haunt, with many people turning it into a popular selfie hotspot while café owners setting up makeshift shops to serve tourists. 

Police officers work with each business household, asking them to pledge not to arrange tables and chairs along both sides of the tracks.

This section of the railways have become a favored haunt, with many people turning it into a popular selfie hotspot while café owners setting up makeshift shops to serve tourists.

We have not yet been asked to shut down business but the police set up barriers, meaning that visitors could not go inside, said Dung, 63, a café owner who was a retired railway worker.The railway coffee area was formed around a year ago with more than 20 households serving drinks for tourists. Every day the area attracts about 300 domestic and foreign customers to take photos and drink coffee.

"We have not yet been asked to shut down our business but the police have set up barriers, so visitors cannot get here," said Dung, 63, a café owner who’s a retired railway employee.

The "railway coffee area" was formed years ago with more than 20 households serving drinks to tourists. Every day the area attracted about 300 domestic and foreign customers who enjoyed taking photographs and watching the trains pass by.

Some staff still opened their door for business but did not arrange tables and plastic chairs as before. When Hanoi authorities began crackdown on the railway coffee shops along the train street, the area has become deserted.Local authorities had been ordered to strictly handle coffee shop owners violating rules by this Saturday.

Some businesses remained open but did not arrange tables and plastic chairs close to the tracks, as they had done earlier. However, the place was completely empty and silent.

Some foreign tourists who planned to enter into the train street were stopped. This area has an operating train, it is not safe to walk by and visit, a young policeman explained to foreign visitors in English.

Foreign tourists who wanted to enter the Train Street were stopped. "This area has an operating train, it is not safe to walk by and visit," a young policeman explained to some foreign visitors in English.

Duyen, the owner of a coffee shop on the train street, said: The train always moves slowly when passing through the area. We also often remind customers not to sit close to the tracks when the train is about to come  For many years, this area has still been safe.

Duyen, the owner of a coffee shop on the train street, said: "The train always moves slowly when passing through the area. We also ask customers not to sit close to the tracks when the train is about to pass. For many years, this area has been very safe."

On Thursday morning, almost coffee shops were deserted and the area which was once one of the busiest tourist destinations in the capital turns into an oasis of quietness.

On Thursday morning, with all the coffee shops devoid of customers, the area wore a desolate look, especially compared to the vibrant atmosphere of previous days.

Warning signs in both Vietnamese and English are erected along the train street. Police said that they would increase the patrols around the area and ask travel agencies to guide tourists not to rush to the railway tracks for selfie photos to ensure safety.

Warning signs in both Vietnamese and English had been erected along the train street, but were mostly ignored, forcing authorities to take action. Police said that they would increase patrols around the area and ask travel agencies to advise tourists not to rush to the railway tracks for selfies and compromise public safety.

 
 
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