You might have heard of the train in Vietnam – the train on the railway, like everywhere else. But the train street in Hanoi? Seems quite new. Let’s go with us on a short trip to the place to find out!
As the name suggests, the train street is the street that has an intersection with the railway, often with a good view of the railway itself – where you can see the train passing by. But normally, the railway crosses many streets, so the word “train street” is quite a collective term.
As mentioned above, the railway crosses many streets, so there’s not a fixed place. But instead, there’re some places to have the best experience of watching the train passing by. They are:
Le Duan street is known for the Hanoi Station, while the Le Duan – Kham Thien intersection is the closest road – railway intersection to it.
In the other direction, Phung Hung Street is the way leading to the ancient Long Bien Bridge – the first steel bridge in Hanoi, opened in 1903.
The Hanoi train street is famous for the train, of course. But it’s not just the train, it’s the train passing a narrow space with houses right next to the railway – just under 1 meter apart. You will be surprised when seeing a train that close, like so close that you can even touch it (but please don’t).
Together with that is a whole bunch of coffee shops owned by the locals. You can grab a drink and sit outside looking at life in Hanoi, waiting for the train to come.
The coffee shops even have a board noting when the train is going to pass, normally about 4 – 5 trains a day with a 2-hour interval. The time when you see it also depends on where you are.
However, it’s not all fixed. There are many trains from many routes as well. So it’s best if you come early and ask the locals. You can also check this link (in Vietnamese) from Vietnam Railway for more details.
The Hanoi train street came to be widely known for its thrilling sensation of seeing the train up close. However, there are some safety precautions that you have to keep in mind when visiting the place.
Normally, you can see many locals put their chairs and motorbikes, or hang their clothes right beside/on the railways. You can sit on the railway or step on it and take pictures too. Just be careful not to trip or fall because there are many sharp-edged stones around, and mind your surroundings to avoid being robbed.
With that in mind, you can now take photos or record videos of the train to your liking!
What’s more interesting, the train runs on the 1000-millimeter narrow gauge, which dates back from the French colonization of Indochina. And, the houses around actually belong to locals who worked as railway employees back in the day. It seems like the train street has helped them spread their love for the job, the place, and even a piece of their life and memory to all visitors.
After a 2-year shutdown for safety reasons and COVID-19, the Hanoi train street is now open again and ready to welcome you! If you are eager to give it a try, click here to book our free Old Quarter tour, which also includes the place!