Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

Once a favorite tourist destination frequented by foreign tourists, Hanoi Train Street, which has been closed for over two years over safety reason, is gradually reviving. It’s an experience to live… and why not take the train for your next trip? Must See In Vietnam Editor

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

Hanoi Train Street is formed by railway tracks running alongside Dien Bien Phu and Phung Hung streets in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, with residential buildings just a few feet away on either side. 

The highly unusual sight of a train running several hundred meters on these tracks fascinates tourists from within and outside the country.

However, Hanoi authorities decided to shut down selfie hotspots and makeshift coffee shops in 2019 as a safety measure. 

Since Vietnam reopened international tourism and resumed pre-pandemic visa policies in mid-March, the train street has begun to revive with the return of foreigners. 

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

Coffee shops along the Train Street have resumed business activities after a long time of closure.

However, in order to reopen coffee shops must pledge to comply with railway safety regulations, meaning they can only provide indoor services.

Nguyen Quoc Hoan, vice chairman of Hoan Kiem District, said family business establishments along the Train Street can operate normally but must ensure railway safety measures. 

Local authorities have frequently inspected their business and imposed fines on violators. 

Watch this video which shows foreign tourists taking photos of a train approaching at Hanoi Train Street, August 2022
Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

As the train comes near, everyone gets off the tracks to record the event on their phones.

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

Tourists use smartphones to capture the moment when the train passes by.

The tracks were built by the French, who used the railway to transport goods and people across Vietnam, which was then part of Indochina, along with Laos and Cambodia, more than a hundred years ago.

During the Vietnam War, parts of the railway tracks were damaged by American bombs that rained down on the northern region.

Today the original meter-gauge tracks are still a regular mode of transport for locals and tourists.

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

The 300-meter-long section from Dien Bien Phu to Tran Phu street is home to 50 coffee shops, which are open until midnight, offering soft drinks, beers and popular Hanoi dishes including bun cha (grilled pork with rice noodles), nem chua ran (fried fermented minced pork) and nem cuon (spring rolls) with prices of VND30,000-50,000. 

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

Kesiah (C) from France who came to Vietnam from Aug. 16 poses for a photo with her friends on the Train Street.

“I knew about the Hanoi Train Street via social media and the scenes here were really amazing,” she said. 

In addition to Hanoi, she also visited Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An and Nha Trang before returning home on Sep. 9. 

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

Currently, the train runs through the neighborhood at 9 p.m., the busiest hour on Hanoi Train Street.

Before the train prepares to approach, the loud speaker system would warn tourists to get off the track to ensure safety. 

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

A foreign tourist sitting on the middle of the track uses her camera to capture the local bustle. 

“It’s really impressive. I feel a bit scared but excited,” Ginevra Motterani from Italy said while visiting the Train Street.

Foreign tourists flood Hanoi Train Street after two years of absence

A family of South Korean tourists on the Train Street.

South Koreans topped the list of foreign visitors to Vietnam this year, at 173,000, out of 1.44 million.

Vietnam has lifted most Covid restrictions for foreign tourists.

A E.VnExpress.net article By Dinh Tung

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Hanoi famous train Street

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