I visited the energetic city of Hanoi, one of the most popular holiday destinations, last summer. Hanoi Train Street is one place that will never disappear from my travel memories. I had put Train Street at the top of the list of to-do attractions while planning the itinerary for Hanoi. I wanted to click so many pictures at the famous “selfie street”.
After reaching Hanoi and freshening up, I started walking through the bustling streets of the city to reach Train street. Soon after passing by 4 lanes, I crossed the road to go the other side.
And there I was, at a humble, narrow residential strip with a railway track passing through its center. 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 twice a day is a daily affair. These are the people that live barely 2-5 meters away from a fully active railway track in Hanoi. Imagining the train passing through that track got me thrilled. Meanwhile, I began hunting for a spot to click selfies on the train street. One of the most popular tourist attractions was flooded with tourists and photographers. It is a ritual for travellers to take back home a train street selfie when they visit the city of Hanoi, one of the most popular holiday destinations.
Clearing off the train tracks
After taking a few photos, I went up to a tiny cafe located along the railway track, ordered coconut water, and sat there, eagerly waiting for the coach. I had just started sipping my drink that the cafÃ© owner, Kim, came up to me and informed me about the train arriving in the next 10 minutes. Before I could contain my excitement, I saw her instructing other customers and people standing right outside her cafe to move closer to the street strip. The residents have become so used to the sound of train’s arrival that they casually clear off the tracks for the train to pass through. It seemed that they had taken a voluntary responsibility to make sure that no regrettable accident takes place.
Goosebumps caused by the siren
As I heard the siren of the approaching train, the hair on my arms stood up straight. The train was finally visible and I was ready with my camera. Within a couple of minutes, the whistling train dramatically showed up. I so enjoyed that “wow” moment while passionately clicking numerous pictures. The train took about 40 seconds to pass by my sight. I would call it one of the most electrifying seconds of my life. Once that scene was over, the life of the residents went back to what it was. Later, when I watched the video that I had recorded, I realized that I was hardly inches away from the train.
Train Street Takeaways
Some people might wonder how Hanoi Train Street can be a place to live, the train whistle clangs noisily every day and the road is narrow. Still, many generations who have lived in this street do not want to leave. Therefore, in the disturbance, residents of Hanoi Train Street find no disturbance at all.
When you go:
Hanoi Train Street:
Written by: Anukrati Dosi
Anukrati is a travel and hotel blogger and the author of the blog www.bulbulonthewing.com. A total hodophile, she spends her free time seeing as much of the world as she can. She has travelled to 10 countries so far. Being an avid reader and researcher, she also designs customized travel itineraries professionally.