Many visitors to Hanoi enjoy visiting the street known as "Train Street," but a new clampdown means that they may not be able to dine at the cafés that line the narrow street in future.
Vietnamese authorities have become concerned about the street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter where trains pass through just inches away from buildings and people's homes. Built in 1902 during French colonial rule, the highly Instagrammable street has become such a draw for selfie-taking visitors that a train was recently obliged to re-route because there were too many people on the track.
Train driver Nguyen Huu Nam told the VN Express newspaper that he has had to make an emergency stop at this section of the railway on three occasions when people failed to move as he approached. Having grown concerned about safety and the risk to human life, officials have now ordered the closure of the illegal cafés that line the street by 12 October.
With outdoor seating placed dangerously close to the tracks, the cafés are attracting visitors who want to get great photos of the train. As 15.5m people visited Vietnam in 2018, authorities have had to act to ensure that the street is safe to visit. "Though the railway cafés attract tourists, they are, in fact, violating some regulations," said Ha Van Sieu, vice chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.