Hanoi train street overview ?
There’s a residential street in Hanoi local name: Hanoi Train Street, Vietnam that a speeding train passes straight through twice a day. The street is so narrow that all residents must ensure their bikes and precious personal belongings, as well as their roaming children, are all safely inside the house before the train passes. Disguised amidst the hectic, cramped streets of the Hanoi Old Quarter lies a funky little area, where motorbikes or even cars are no longer the biggest danger to locals stepping outside of their front door. They’re now replaced by high-speed trains, hurling through the residential street, just only feet away from people everyday lives including their dishes and laundry drying by the tracks, which all define the Hanoi Train Street…
While discovering this unique Hanoi Train Street, for sure you will:
- Be surprised by the peace, the normal attitude of locals here living next to the railways.
- Be deeply immersed yourself in the local side of busy and exciting Hanoi
- Take amazing pictures for the trip
Where is Hanoi train street ?
It’s one of the first places the train leaving Hanoi train station and heading South to Hue and Hoi An passes through, so if you’re on that train be sure to look out for it. Just don’t stick your head out the window if you want to arrive with your head still intact.
The train street certainly came into tourists’ curiosity via many social network channels, that is the reason urging tourists on the Hanoi Tours to hunt for it. The street is not dissimilar to the majority of the streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter are mixed from the slim, tall buildings with the bustling and narrow streets. However, tourists can easily find the differences between, that us a working railway track filling up space where the road should be. It is quite eerie as seeing the locals’ daily lives.
Hanoi Train street is located between Lê Duẩn and Khâm Thiên street in Hanoi’s old quarter.
How to get to Hanoi Train Street
Hanoi has many ways leading to the train streets, but we opted to watch the train pass from a slice of the street nearest the Old Quarter thus tourists could walk there. Hanoi train street lies on a narrow street between Kham Thien and Le Duan, exactly the lane passing along called Ngo 224 Le Duan. From Hanoi Old Quarter, it takes about 35-40 minutes to walk at a decent speed. In addition, you can try “xe om” (Grab bike) to get a ride there.
When is best time to visit Hanoi Train Street
There has two trains that run along this route daily, one at 3:30 pm and another one at 7:30 pm. To gain the best photograph, we choose the train at 3:30 pm for the daylight. It is conspicuous that to be safe, travelers should observe carefully to find a safe spot to watch from and a good view. The train usually comes from the South to the North, so you can decide where to watch from.
Hanoi Train Street Time Schedule
It is really important for all of us both local travelers or foreigners to get the right time here to see the train passing by in Hanoi Train Street. The train will only pass through this tiny street these times per day.
- Mon – Friday
7 pm; 7.45 pm; 8.30 pm; 10 pm
6 am; 9 am ; 11.20 am; 3.20 pm; 5.30 pm; 6 pm; 7 pm; 7.45 pm; 8.30 pm; 9 pm ; 11 pm
The schedule is not fixed and a 15-minute delay is usually expected. So you better arrive at least 30 minutes before the expected schedule to get a good viewing spot.
Wandering the street, enjoy the peaceful moment of Hanoi and take the most beautiful picture to keep your Hanoi memory. Maybe get a cup of coffee while waiting!
But how it feels when the train passing by?
“Suddenly we heard the train tooting its horn and coming flying in our direction…. we literally had to jump off the tracks and stand almost pinned against a wall.
Even the locals were making crazy hand movements, telling us to get back further which was a little scary. The train literally passed by within a few inches of us, as you can see from the angle of the video I took below!!” – shared by a tourist in Hanoi.
Hanoi train street safety
Hopefully, it goes without saying that these are legit trains, and not to be messed with. They will not and CANNOT stop if you overstay your time on the tracks. It’s never going to be worth the photo, so don’t be stupid.
Find a spot at the side of the track and let it pass by without putting anyone in danger (don’t do like some silly tourists we saw and stand in the middle of the track for as long as possible).
Best things to do in Hanoi Train Street
Enjoy Food & Drink on the Tracks!
There stands available coffee shops for those who are getting thirsty, named The Railway Cafe, located on the side of the train tracks. This is the best view ever to see the train where you can find a few chairs outside to meet other on-lookers. Besides the cafe, the train street has some places selling food, and fast food also. Therefore, you can grab a quick bite to eat or drink, right then watching the train pass.
Try Vietnamese coffee on Hanoi railway street
It will be a pity if you visit Hanoi without trying Hanoi or Vietnamese coffee. Coming Hanoi Train Street, you will not only have a chance to explore the daily life of local citizens but also can enjoy famous coffee of Vietnam in a special space and have a good view to the railway.
Besides the famous coffee shops, you can also find some souvenir shops in the street. Here you can buy cute handmade products or traditional and typical clothes of Vietnamese. Some for gifts and some just for keeping the memory of this one-of-a-kind place!
Find your best photos of this special “playground”
As much of a simple routine as train driving past mere inches away from the doorstep is for those living here, it’s a novelty for all foreign visitors. This unique Hanoi train street has become a favorite photo-taking spot of both local citizens and international tourists who are looking for an inspiration
“Street photography is always a challenge in many ways. You often can’t anticipate what happens next and sometimes you have a specific scene in your mind and then you wait until it occurs.
On the other hand, you often have to be very quick and take your picture before a special occasion has already passed and you have missed the best moment for a great picture.
Experience the Local Life
Life beside the tracks with local has no difference. The railway becomes their silent neighbor while the trains are “noisy guys”. It seems misfortune for these Hanoians when they have to live in such a dangerous place but throughout years getting used to it, this street is so special to them and even an important part in their life. Talk to them, spend time with them and these moments will leave you unforgettable memories.
When you read this post, Hanoi Train Street and all cafe next to the railway already closed by the local administrator because of the visitors’ safety! But if you come there in your own for some nice pictures is NO problem!
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