- Title: Police crackdown on Vietnam's famous 'railway cafes'
- Date: 10th October 2019
- Summary: HANOI, VIETNAM (OCTOBER 10, 2019) (REUTERS) POLICEMEN PUTTING BARRIER TO BLOCK PATH ALONG TRACKS 'NO TRESPASSING' SIGN ON BARRICADE SIGN READING (Vietnamese and English): "DANGEROUS AREA: DO NOT GATHER A CROWD, TAKE PHOTOS, VIDEOS. DO NOT WALK, STAND, SIT, STAND, SIT ON RAILROAD TRACKS, DO NOT DISPLAY CHAIRS, TABLES AND PEDDLE ON AND ALONG RAILROAD TRACKS" POLICEMAN HALTING TOURIST FROM TAKING PHOTOGRAPH SECURITY GUARD SHOOING TOURIST AWAY SECURITY GUARD STANDING VARIOUS OF TOURISTS STANDING AROUND RUSSIAN TOURIST, ARTEM FROLOV, TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSIAN TOURIST, ARTEM FROLOV, SAYING: "Probably to go inside, deep inside is dangerous, but to (be) prohibited to take a photo, even from this spot, no it's not a good idea, not a good idea, because it has nothing to do with the danger at all" COLOURFUL MURAL ON WALL OF TATTOO SHOP COFFEE SHOP SIGNBOARD HANGING NEXT TO BIRD CAGES EMPTY SOUVENIR SHOP MAN SITTING ALONE LOOKING OUT TO RAIL TRACKS IN FRONT OF HIS COFFEE SHOP COFFEE SHOP OWNER, LE TUAN ANH, CLOSING SHOP (SOUNDBITE) (Vietnamese) RESIDENT AND COFFEE SHOP OWNER, LE TUAN ANH, SAYING: "I am sad because this is a good tourism product that is worthy to promote and develop. I think the authorities and concerned departments should find solutions to balance these two facets: ensuring the safety for tourists, at the same time promoting how beautiful and lively Vietnam and her people are." RESIDENCE SITTING AROUND TALKING WOMAN SETTING TABLES AND CHAIRS IN HER EMPTY SHOP VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN WALKING ALONG TRACKS (SOUNDBITE) (Vietnamese) LIEUTENANT-COLONEL PHAM VANDANG, SAYING: "The residents will still be allowed access to the pathway. They will have the responsibility to work with the authorities to ensure that local and foreign tourists will not violate the 'safety corridor" of the rail road in order to ensure their own safety." VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS SITTING ON TRACK WHILE POLICE WALKING AROUND MEN'S FLIP-FLOP RESTING ON TRACKS ROW OF EMPTY SHOPS ALONG THE TRACKS OLD MAN LOOKING ON OLD MAN GETTING INSIDE HIS HOUSE EMPTY TABLES AND CHAIRS VARIOUS OF CROWD OF TOURISTS WHO GOT STOPPED AT THE BLOCKAGE SECURITY GUARDS STANDING WOMAN WALKING PASS MURAL OF TRAIN ON THE WALL ROW OF CLOSED SHOPS ALONG TRACK
- Embargoed: 24th October 2019 09:28
- Keywords: rail road crack down railway cafe tourists police Instagram safety danger track
- Location: HANOI, VIETNAM
- City: HANOI, VIETNAM
- Country: Vietnam
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0IIKW7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hanoi authorities barred tourists on Thursday (October 10) from entering a street lined with bars and cafes that lie only metres away from moving trains that zigzag through the streets of Vietnam's capital city.
The train line brushes the rear of houses and shops as it snakes through the city's dense centre. Vendors stroll on the tracks, selling snacks on skewers, while some visitors sit on the railway lines and soak in the vibe.
It's the kind of shot every Instagram connoisseur yearns for: century-old railway tracks cutting through dusty backstreets, flanked by tourists drinking beer or iced tea mere inches from the slow-moving trains.
The sight has become such a draw in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi that authorities have set a weekend deadline for the removal of dozens of cafes that have cropped up, citing safety concerns.
In recent months, crowds of tourists have gathered along the railway to snap selfies with passing trains or lounge at trackside cafes.
On Sunday (October 6), a train had to make an emergency stop soon after leaving Hanoi railway station to avoid hitting tourists, prompting the city's governing body ordering the cafes removed by Saturday (October 12) to "ensure traffic safety," at the request of the transport ministry.
Built in 1902 under French colonial rulers, the railway to Vietnam's northern provinces carries passengers and cargo mostly between Hanoi and the eastern city of Haiphong, and the remote towns of Lang Son and Lao Cai, on the mountainous border with China.
It uses an old-fashioned French narrow gauge, and is so old that when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited Hanoi in February for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, he had to stop at the border and continue by car.
Vietnam received 12.87 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of this year, up nearly 11% on the year, government data shows.
(Production: Thinh Nguyen, Minh Nguyen)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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