Monday, November 19, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Hanoi’s colonial-era railway doubles as selfie hotspot

/ 05:50 PM October 28, 2018

A tourist posing for a photo on a railway track passing through an old residential district in central Hanoi. Image: Nhac NGUYEN / AFP

In the heart of Hanoi’s busy Old Quarter, French-built railroad tracks have become a hotspot for tourists seeking the perfect Instagram selfie, and for cafe owners serving up hot coffee and cold beer.

Though picturesque, they are also perilous: the tracks are still in use and most days visitors must scramble for safety as the daily train rumbles through the narrow streets.

ADVERTISEMENT

But for many, the thrill of dodging a speedy train is part of the appeal.

“It was amazing but scary in the same sense, a little bit overwhelming being so close to the train,” Australian tourist Michelle Richards told AFP.

FEATURED STORIES

The tracks were first built by former colonial rulers France who used the railway to transport goods and people across Vietnam, then part of Indochina, along with Laos and Cambodia.

During the Vietnam War, parts of the railway were badly damaged by American bombs that rained down on the communist-ruled north.

Today the original meter-gauge tracks are still a mode of transport for tourists and travellers seeking a cheaper option.

But in the past few years, visitors to Hanoi have seized upon their photographic possibilities.

Hemmed in by houses and cafes, the tracks offer a unique charm for budding travel photographers and a business opportunity for makeshift cafe owners who have set up shop.

“It’s got a really weird charm. You’ve got flowers from the balcony coming down, you’ve got buildings which are very old and close to each other. You see people here living close to the train tracks,” Hong Kong tourist Edward Tsim said.

As the train rumbles into view, everyone clears the tracks and pulls their phones out to capture the scene.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It felt like waiting for Christmas… and when it arrived, wow, it was something else,” British tourist Paul Hardiman said.

“Well worth the wait.” NVG

RELATED STORIES:

Selfies cause of over 250 reported deaths — study

Japan’s ‘Insta-gran’ finds fame with wacky selfies

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Hanoi, Instagram, Photography, Tourism, Vietnam
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

Maguindanao massacre decision out soon

November 20, 2018 12:21 AM

entertainment

Camila Cabello now OK with other Fifth Harmony girls

November 20, 2018 12:06 AM

entertainment

‘Full-frontal’ risk pays off for teen actress

November 20, 2018 12:04 AM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.