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Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

By Tung Dinh   September 18, 2022 | 11:33 pm PT
Once crowded with visitors, Hanoi Train Street now stands forlorn as some foreign tourists remain outside the barriers.
Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

Hanoi police erected barriers last Thursday to bar tourists from visiting coffee shops on the famous Train Street. The street was formed along Dien Bien Phu and Phung Hung streets in the heart of the Old Quarter with residential buildings mere feet away on either side of the track.

According to Hoan Kiem district authorities, there were 30 business households along the track that violate railway safety regulations and pose accident risks.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

A group of foreign tourists stand in front of the barrier to take photos on Sunday.

Many first-time foreign visitors still try to linger in the hope of entering the street.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

A local guard signals to foreign tourists to stop.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

Despite the closure order, hundreds of tourists gathered in front of the railway barricade to wait for the train to arrive.

Currently, the frequency of trains passing through Hanoi remains limited. From Hanoi station, there are three pairs of Hanoi - Hai Phong trains operating on Saturdays and Sundays while there is only a pair of trains on weekdays.

In addition, there is a train departing from Hanoi to Lao Cai, home to Sa Pa, every Monday, Thursday and Friday at 10 p.m. and returning to Hanoi on Wednesday and Sunday morning.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

Foreign tourists, standing outside a barrier, use their smartphones to capture the moment when a train passes by the Hanoi Train Street.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

The rest of the time, the street is deserted.

The Train Street became famous in 2014, when the sight of a train running right through the heart of a densely packed residential area was published in foreign newspapers and magazines, especially in the U.S and U.K.

It was closed for a while in 2019 over safety concerns, before it was hit by Covid-19. Since Vietnam reopened tourism in March, the street has again started drawing tourists.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

A woman walks along the deserted street where houses are decorated with colorful lanterns to attract tourists.

Foreign tourists linger around closed Hanoi Train Street

Tables and chairs at a closed cafe are stacked on top of each other.

Foreign tourists hang out at Hanoi's Train Street one weekend in August 2022.

 
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