A train route that runs between narrow blocks of houses has become a popular motif for Instagram posts among Hanoi visitors. But after a dangerous incident, the authorities were forced to act.
Only a few months after the reopening of the famous “Train Street” in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi, the authorities closed the attraction again.
After access was banned three years ago for security reasons, cafés and stands on the train route, which runs between narrow blocks of houses, reopened as part of the corona relaxation – and attracted visitors from all over the world. At first, the city let the tourists do their thing. A few days ago, however, she put up barriers with large warning signs.
Nevertheless, there was a dangerous incident: On Sunday, according to media reports, a tourist from South Korea was struck by a slow-moving train after bypassing the barriers. He was only slightly injured. The newspaper “VnExpress” spoke of a “near tragedy”.
A look back: Since 2018, more and more onlookers have been attracted by the spectacular photos on the Internet. The “Train Street” became an Instagram hotspot. Cafes and souvenir stalls opened, local residents set up food stalls and arranged particularly suitable places for photography. When there are no trains, some restaurants even put tables directly on the rails – so that they can be quickly cleared away when a train approaches.
Tourists were disappointed with the recent lockdown. Many gathered at the barriers to catch a glimpse of the photogenic street. “I had no idea it was closed,” said Briton Lewis Hales of the German Press Agency. “I thought I could have sat in a café there and had a coffee.” However, a security officer came immediately and prohibited him from entering. “But I understand why,” Hales said. “It seems really dangerous.”
The railway line, which crosses Dien Bien Phu Street at one end and Tran Phu Street at the other, dates back to French colonial times: it was built in 1902, but it still plays an important role for local and foreign travelers today.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220921-99-842643/2 (dpa)