In Hanoi, you can find the bustle and excitement in the Old Quarter with bars and pubs. You can also find the peacefulness in famous pagodas such as One Pillar Pagoda, Ly Quoc Su Pagoda. But, in the heart of Hanoi capital, there is a place where you can enjoy all of the above at the same time. That place is the iconic Hanoi Train Street. To enter this street, visitors can start going from the intersection with Dien Bien Phu, Tran Phu, or Phung Hung.
The rail corridor from Kham Thien street to Giai Phong - Dai Co Viet intersection, from Dien Bien Phu street to Tran Phu street, from Phung Hung street to Long Bien bridge is home to old houses which embrace a part of Hanoians' memories. Due to the railway, those corridors were dubbed "Pho Duong Tau" (or just Google map "Hanoi Train Street" and it'll take you there).
Hanoi Train Street is a must-see place for anyone who wants to explore the different colors of Hanoi
The North-South railway of Vietnam was built during the French colonial era. Since then, people working in the railway industry began building houses by the trail corridor area. Each home becomes part of the little town, straight from Long Bien station to the end of Le Duan street. For more than 30 years, many generations have lived in this place. There are children born and grown up with the sound of the trains going through the street every day.
After appearing in several international newspapers, Hanoi Train Street suddenly became a famous tourist attraction. During the day, the street is peaceful and extremely suitable for visitors to come here to take a walk and shoot some memorable photos. With the background of old houses that have architecture characterizing the ancient Vietnamese atmosphere, not to mention the railway and its special curves that can be found only in this area, Hanoi Train Street will satisfy any photography lovers.
When the street begins to light up, tourists come to Hanoi Train Street to enjoy the scenery called "Jiufen Old Street in The Heart of Vietnam" and wait for the night train to pass by. When the train comes, they all stand flat to the wall to avoid the train and enjoy those few seconds, which are both thrilling and exciting.
The cafes on Hanoi Train Street all hang a train timetable on the walls. The first train usually departs early in the morning, around 6 AM, and the last one leaves around 10 PM. When the train is about to arrive, people in the neighborhood will gather and watch the train together.
Mon – Friday: 7 PM; 7:45 PM; 8:30 PM; 10 PM
Weekend: 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
Or check for the most updated timetables online below:
When it reaches the time on the timetable and the train is about to come, make sure you stay away at least 1.5 meters from the railway and never stand in the middle of the track.
The train street is only about 500 meters long, with new and old houses in various colors, and every corner is beautiful and quite poetic. The ones that are living here came from all over the country and lead a peaceful yet vivid lifestyle.
People live their daily lives like in every street in Hanoi. The only difference is, all of those activities somehow has the traces of the railway imprinted in them. Grandads play chess beside the tracks; the children ride their bikes to school along the sides of the tracks, the salesmen also sit on the railroad side and lay small goods out. When it gets dark, people will start bringing their stoves outside, then sit right by the tracks to cook meals. And even though the trains pass by every day, people still wait and keep watching every time it passes.
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Update: from October 2019, the Ministry of Transport wanted the coffee shop owners to stop their businesses along the Hanoi Train Street over safety concerns.
It is not likely that you'll be able to experience the vibrant lifestyle of the locals and the energy from international visitors like before. However, if you're taking a train to or from Hanoi, the Train Street still serves as a station where you can have a glimpse into what makes the area so unique.
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See more: Top 5 Things to Do in Hanoi for a Day
© Written by Emily & Linh Nguyen for itourvn.com