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This is Hanoi Train Street, located in the Old Quarter.
For outsiders, this might seem like a bizarre place to live, but, for the few Hanoians that reside on the small stretch of track, this is their home.
Tall, narrow buildings tower over both sides of the path, while at ground level, people live out their lives on their doorsteps.
The people here seem to have developed a harmonious coexistence with the coming and going of the train.
As it passes, people re-emerge from their homes ready to carry on with their day.
I arrived a little early so I could see how the people here live with the regular coming and going of the city's rail service.
It was the calm before the train.
A few women were cleaning up, kids on their way to school, guys getting ready for work, while tourists sat atop the rails chatting as if it were a regular street.
Then suddenly, the locals got up and started moving their belongings off the track.
Years of living on the train's timetable seemed to have cemented it in their minds and turned their body clocks to know exactly when the train will arrive.
As the Train sped past the buildings with just inches to spare, pedestrians press themselves tightly to walls with a startling look as the carriages narrowly missed the end of their nose.
The train is gone as quickly as it arrived.
Within seconds of its passing, children bounce back towards the center of the track to once again to play.
The community emerges to carry on with their day as if nothing ever happened.
It is this spectacle that has recently seen more and more tourists flocked to Train Street, hoping to capture that perfect Instagram pose while walking the lines or witness the madness of a speeding train rushing just inches from the buildings.
I have to say, that is why I visited.
I wanted to see this unique place for myself.
If you get past the idea of the two steel lines that stretch down its center, this is really just another street in Hanoi.
Only rather than dodging a constant barrage of motorcycles, you have the train a few times a day to contend with.
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Hanoi To Shut Down Train Street

1622 Folder Collection
Estelle published on November 2, 2019    Estelle translated    Steve reviewed
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