Tourists are pressed right up against the wall, just an arms length away from the slow, but long moving hunk of metal.
In the heart of Hanoi, lies a tourist attraction of the most authentic kind. Tucked away in a narrow alley, a single train track snakes through narrow buildings; restaurants and homes an arms length away. Locals living near this stretch of the city – having noted how something so seamlessly normal in Vietnam was attracting people from all over the world – took it upon themselves to use their surroundings to their advantage. Not for the faint of hearted, tourists can sit and enjoy their coffee on the train tracks moments before the train is scheduled to pass. At the sound of the whistle, the shop owners corral their clients against the wall and press the folding chairs into the tracks, to be glided over by the passenger train.
The train itself passes three to four times a day, schedule pending. Upon our arrival, we were ushered towards one of the many coffee shops skirting the tracks, where we enjoyed our smoothies for a few minutes before the train made itself known. Having decided to take a risk, we even went a little crazy, shrinking our GoPro down into the track to fit under the train. Luckily, our camera survived to capture some pretty cool footage that I have posted below!
As the giant passenger train continues its journey north from Ho Chi Minh, tourists are pressed right up against the wall, just an arms length away from the slow, but long moving hunk of metal. And then, as if nothing at all has happened, the train disappears, the chairs are set back up and coffee is poured once again.