Hanoi’s popular “train street” is once again the subject of a significant crackdown.
The street, where trains travel along a track just inches away from homes and businesses in the Vietnam capital, has long been one of the most popular tourist sites in Hanoi and a regular favorite on social media.
However, it is also dangerous. The train track is still operational, and there have been security issues with tourists who like to sit, lie down and pose on the tracks.
Although there has been official pushback in the past – most notably in 2019 – the Hanoi regional government is now taking a hard line by revoking all the licenses for coffee shops and other businesses along the street.
All of them have until September 17 to close.
In addition, barricades are already being put in place to stop tourists from accessing the street, reports local outlet Vietnam News.
Shop owners were reportedly given just a few days’ notice.
The closure has been met with mixed reactions from people who live on and near Train Street and rely on tourists for a living.
“It would be better if we, local people and the authorities can cooperate for developing our Train Street,” one cafe owner – who requested anonymity because fear of reprisal from the local government – told CNN Travel.
They said that income from tourism had helped repair their home, raise quality of life and support older relatives.
“This closure shall affect directly on our earning,” the owner added.
Meanwhile, the Viet Nam Railway Corporation, which operates the rail line, has recently proposed that operating cafes, shooting photos or filming videos along “Train Street” should be a fineable offense.
Top image: Patrons drink coffee in cafes along Train Street. Photo by Vinh Dav/Adobe Stock
Additional reporting by CNN’s Jan Camenzind Broomby.