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Hanoi bans guided tours to its famous ‘Railway & Coffee Street’

For years, Hanoi’s “Railway & Coffee Street” has attracted tourists who come to see the trains run through the alley, barely clearing the shops that line either side.

But now authorities in Vietnam’s capital have banned tours to the site, saying they have become dangerous, state media reported.

The city’s tourism department said that tourists tend to cluster at certain choke points, causing traffic to back up and increasing the potential for accidents.

The department ordered travel firms not to take tourists, especially foreigners, to the area.

It wasn’t clear if there has been an increase in accidents along the route, but in September, local authorities closed one section of the rail line and put up barricades around it after a Korean tourist collided with a train while taking photos in the Railway & Coffee Street.  

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Tourists take photos as a train comes down the track in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2019. Credit: Reuters

The tourist sustained only minor injuries because the train had been running at a low speed.

The report said this was the first time that authorities have enacted safety measures related to the street.

According to the tourism department, Hanoi has received nearly 1 million foreign visitors in the first three months of this year, six times higher than that of the same period last year.

Translated by Anna Vu. Edited by Eugene Whong and Malcolm Foster.