Hanoi shuts down cafes next to train tracks due to danger of selfies
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Sep 15 (EFE).- The authorities in the city of Hanoi in Vietnam have announced the closure of the popular “train cafes” over the risk posed to the people looking to take “selfies” to post on social media.
These cafe, popular among tourists, had rows of chairs and tables located at the edge of the tracks, barely a few centimeters from trains passing by.
According to news outlet VnExpress Thursday, Nguyen Anh Quan, the deputy head of the Hoan Kiem district – where the famous Train Street cafes are located -, announced that barricades will be placed to prevent tourists from visiting these joints, and all business licenses of these cafes will be revoked within three days.
In recent years, the popular street had become one of the great attractions of Hanoi, with tourists hungry for catchy social media pics clicking themselves at the edge of the tracks, and often seconds before the train passed.
A search on Instagram shows both Vietnamese and foreign visitors posing in the middle of the track and even sitting at a small table on the track as the train approaches.
The decision to shut down the cafes was taken after railway service officials asked the Hanoi authorities to ban tourists from taking selfies to avoid accidents.
This is not the first time that the authorities have closed this 300-meter stretch in the heart of Hanoi.
The last time they did so was at the end of 2019, shortly before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced Vietnam to close its borders to international tourists for almost two years.
The gradual return of tourists since the beginning of this year allowed these businesses to reopen and the place become a trendy place to take selfies.
The railway, built during French colonization, passes very close to houses and businesses in cities such as Ho Chi Minh (earlier Saigon), Danang and Hanoi.
However, it is only in the Vietnamese capital that the stretch has become popular among tourists. EFE