Hanoi’s ‘Train Street’ restaurants have been ordered to close

(CNN) — Hanoi’s famous “railway” is the source of much controversy.

The street, where trains run on track just inches away from homes and businesses in the Vietnamese capital, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Hanoi and a regular favorite in the media.

However, it is also dangerous. The railway is still in operation, and there are safety issues with tourists who like to sit, lie down and stand on the tracks.

Although it has been restored in the past – most notably in 2019 – Hanoi’s local government is taking a hard line by revoking all licenses for coffee shops and other businesses in the road.

They all have until September 17 to close.

Authorities have reportedly put up fences to keep out tourists "Railway."

Authorities have reportedly put up fences to keep tourists out of the “Railway.”

VINH DAV/Adobe Stock

The owners of the stores were informed in just a few days.

The closure was met with mixed reactions from those who live near Train Street and depend on tourists for a living.

“It would be better if we, the residents and the authorities, could come together to develop our railway,” said the owner of the cafe – who requested anonymity out of fear in retaliation from the local government – told CNN Travel.

They say the income from tourism has helped them repair their homes, improve their quality of life and support elderly relatives.

“This closure will have a direct impact on our revenue,” the owner added.

Currently, the Viet Nam Railway Corporation, which manages the railway line, has proposed the creation of restaurants, taking pictures or filming videos on the “Train Street” is a good crime.

Top photo: Visitors sipping coffee at restaurants on Railway Street. Photo by Vinh Dav/Adobe Stock

Additional reports by CNN’s Jan Camenzind Broomby.

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