Young Pioneer Tours

Guide to Railway Street Hanoi

Railway Street Hanoi is one of the most iconic places within the capital of Vietnam, welcoming thousands of tourists daily. Why do so many people come here, though, and is it worth going out of your way?

To the uninitiated, Railway Street Hanoi is a large section of railway line that has been semi-pedestrianized, as well as fully commercialized. Over the last 10 years or so, there has been an exponential growth in bars, restaurants and hipster shops. This growth is down to people wanting to sit down and enjoy some mortal danger by going back to the wall as trains speed past.

What the Railway Street Hanoi?

Located downtown and within spitting distance of the Old Quarter, this is one of the most popular places to go within Hanoi. The street itself is full of brightly lit bars, restaurants and shops that have been growing greatly over the years.

Previously coming here was more of a quirk, but nowadays there is so much going on that it is a night out in its own right. If you do need more, it is also surrounded by the some of the best restaurant streets within the capital if you need more of a feed.

In my mind, the best bar on Railway Street Hanoi is Coffee Chill 96, because not only does the owner have the train timetable, but he is also in charge of clearing the tracks, regardless of how drunk he is….

He also serves some of the best Paiawara I have personally seen in Vietnam, Da Nang pineapple punch notwithstanding.

And when the trains go past?

There is a loose timetable of when trains, both passenger and freight, actually go past. This is more theory than fact, so having a local with some knowledge is fairly important. Generally speaking, much of the traffic is after 8, with me seeing 4 trains go past in just two hours or so.

This duality is particularly enjoyable if you have also taken the train into Hanoi, which I did from Vinh after seeing the birthplace of Uncle Ho. In some respects, this reminded me of when I took the train to Battambang and then did the Bamboo Railway as part of a Cambodia Tour.

And as for the experience? You are given forewarning and then stand a bit back from the tracks as you watch the trains go past. Some trains are longer than others, so it can take minutes for them to pass you. This is epic fun, but also gets harder and harder the more Vietnamese Hooch you had prior to them passing. I am sure Railway Street has had a few accidents over the years, but it is also something you really should not worry about, so long as you have common sense.

We currently offer a visit here as part of our Vietnam Tour, our South-East Asian Adventure, as well as part of our bespoke tours to Vietnam.

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