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Hanoi Train Street told to close down railway cafés

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has ordered the cafés on Hanoi Train Street to close down, Tuổi Trẻ News reported Saturday. The ramshackle cafés are a major tourist hotspot but are viewed by some as a threat to public safety.

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The train street, which features buildings just a few feet from a working railway line, has traditionally been residential but changed its complexion when industrious locals started opening up businesses besides the tracks in late 2017. The area has been a busy tourist area ever since, particularly for amateur photographers.

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There are more than 60 small café-style shops along a strip mostly serving coffee, fruit juices, alcohol and snacks, with seating often little more than a few inches from the train tracks.

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The cafés are incredibly cute and sitting on the tracks with a drink in hand makes for a great photo opportunity but they are an obvious safety risk. Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said they caused a “real danger for social security, order and safety.”

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