Travel agencies in Vietnam have been warned against organising tours to the famous “Train Street” in Hanoi due to safety concerns. The narrow alleyway, gõ 224 Lê Duẩn, located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, is a popular spot for selfies where trains pass by just inches from businesses and homes, including makeshift coffee shops. However, the heavy congestion caused by groups of tourists gathering where a train passes on the level crossing in Tran Phu Street has raised safety concerns. This has put pressure on railway guards and posed a high risk of traffic accidents. The Hanoi Department of Tourism has urged relevant agencies to observe regulations on rail traffic safety and urban order and has increased inspections.
This is not the first time that officials have intervened regarding safety concerns on “Train Street”. In September 2020, a South Korean tourist was hit by a train, and a stretch of the street was shut down, with barriers erected for safety. There was also an attempt to crack down on businesses operating along the railway line in 2019, but the plans were put on hold due to the pandemic. The recent surge in tourism has made it necessary for officials to take action to ensure the safety of both tourists and locals.
According to the Hanoi Department of Tourism, the city has welcomed almost one million foreign tourists in the first three months of 2021, a figure almost six times higher than the same period last year. As such, it is important to ensure that safety measures are in place to protect both visitors and residents.
The popularity of “Train Street” is not unique to Hanoi. In 2018, a travel influencer faced criticism for taking a picture on the tracks at Maeklong Railway Market in Thailand. Like Hanoi’s “Train Street”, this market has become a popular attraction. However, the Spanish blogger and designer faced backlash after sharing the picture on her Instagram. She later deleted the snap and apologised in a further post.
As tourism continues to grow in popularity, it is important to consider the impact it has on local communities and the environment. While it is essential to promote tourism, it must be done in a sustainable and responsible way. This includes ensuring the safety of both tourists and locals and respecting cultural and historical sites.
In conclusion, the decision to warn travel agencies against organising tours to Hanoi’s “Train Street” is a necessary step to ensure the safety of both tourists and locals. With the recent surge in tourism, it is important to take measures to protect visitors and residents. As tourism continues to grow, it is crucial to promote sustainable and responsible tourism that respects cultural and historical sites and benefits local communities.