Insta-Dangerous: Hanoi Train Street Ordered to Shut Due to Photocentric Tourism

Insta-Dangerous: Hanoi Train Street Ordered to Shut Due to Photocentric Tourism
Tourists taking pictures of a train passing through the narrow street in the Hanoi Old Quarter, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Cafe owners and tourists protest against this decision by the authorities

OT Staff
October 20 , 2019
01 Min Read

While the advent of social media may have brought the world together, it has also introduced a unique sense of danger. Upto only a decade ago, no one could have imagined the risky consequences of selfies that have been seen globally in recent years, especially at Hanoi’s train street. The insta-famous street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter has been ordered to be shut down by the authorities by October 12.

The lane lined with cafes and homes also facilitates a 117-year-old working railway line that usually carries cargo and passengers between Hanoi and Haiphong, Lang Son and  Lao Cai. The cramped nature of the road means the train travels merely inches away from the outdoor seating arrangements that many eateries provide. Additionally, tourists are often seen perilously close to the tracks (sometimes even on it), taking selfies for social media. 


Considering the potential risk, on October 6, the authorities announced that the street will be closed, asking many cafes to shut shop in hardly a week’s time. This decision took place after an incident where a driver had to stop in an emergency to avoid endangering the lives of many tourists (most standing to click pictures). Barricades have been set up to block people from entering the tracks. Needless to say, many cafe owners and tourists have been protesting the move. 

“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 Reuters.

Built in 1902, during the French colonial rule, the railways are used by Vietnam’s state run railway company. 


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