AFP: Hanoi's colonial-era railway becomes selfie hotspot

Update: 10:50 | 29/10/2018

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, according to an article by the Paris-headquartered AFP news agency.

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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.

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French-built railroad tracks have become a hotspot for tourists.

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

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

During the war against US imperialists, 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 travelers seeking a cheaper option.

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

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The thrill of dodging a speedy train is part of the appeal.

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 shops.

"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.

 

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Source: VNA

 
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