Hanoi’s new attraction is a railway track in the middle of a residential colony. For many of us, riding the train is a part of the daily grind. And there are a few, for whom watching a train chugging by their balcony is a daily affair. These are the people that live barely a few metres away from a fully active railway track in Hanoi.
The Train Street
Hanoi Train Street was never meant to be a tourist attraction. In reality, it is a humble, narrow residential strip with a railway track passing through its centre. The houses are built so close to the rail line that they are hardly 1.5 to 5 m away. The residents have become so used to the sound of trains’ arrival that they casually clear off the tracks for the train to pass through.
The residential structures were already standing, when the train line was laid through the centre of the city by the French in 1902. As the population increased, so did the number of houses on the Train Street. Eventually, this place started attracting the attention of tourists, and as it usually happens, the word about it spread around. Now, considering the fame of this bizarre place, tourism companies organise tours to this offbeat site.
A normal day on Train Street
It is a normal thing for people to carry out their daily chores like cooking, washing, chatting on or around the railways track, until a whistling train dramatically shows up at a certain hour of the day. While, for the residents, it is just a sight they’ve got used to, the star-struck tourists enjoy their ‘wow’ moment whilst passionately clicking numerous pictures. Once the scene is over, life goes back to what it was.
How to watch the trains at Hanoi Train Street?
So, if you are heading to Hanoi, do spare some time to watch this unofficial tourist site. Going by the popular word, the trains chug through between 3 PM and 7 PM local time every day. So, it is better to arrive at about 2:45 PM to witness the ‘miracle’. And if you wish, you may choose to spend some time grabbing a drink or a bite at one of the tiny cafés located along the railway tracks.