Hanoi Ends Tourism To Iconic Train Street

Reeling from the effects of overtourism, Hanoi becomes the latest in a growing list of destinations to restrict travellers.  
Hanoi’s Iconic Train Street Succumbs to Overtourism 1
The narrow Train Street faced regular throngs of tourists. Copyright by 8Creative.vn/ Hanoi, Hà Nội, Vietnam/Getty Images

Hanoi’s iconic Train Street—a narrow street in the Old Quarter lined with cafés and houses with a functional train track cleaving it in half—has always been a tourist hotspot. The colonial railway track connects Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, and is a heavily Instagrammed attraction. However, the hordes of visitors are also a safety concern, for the tracks are popular for photo shoots. Starting October 12, access to the Train Street will be shut for tourists, and all the cafés closed.

The tipping point came on October 6 when the train had to be diverted from the route, as tourists refused to vacate the track. The Vietnamese authorities have cited safety concerns stemming from overtourism as the main reason to curb tourist access.

With a burgeoning global tourism industry, Hanoi is just one of the destination facing the brunt. Here are others:

Komodo Island

The Indonesian island home to the eponymous Komodo dragon is set to impose a much higher entry fee and a membership programme for visitors in a bid to protect the population of the giant lizards.

The Everest Base Camp

Earlier this year, the Chinese government restricted entry to its side of the Everest Base Camp, located in Tibet, to only those with permits to climb Mt. Everest. The move came in an attempt to mitigate the major waste crisis due to heavy tourist influx at the site.

Venice

Hanoi’s Iconic Train Street Succumbs to Overtourism

Tourists flock Rialto Bridge overlooking Venice’s Grand Canal. Photo By: Alan Copson/AWL Images/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

One of the first cities to ever struggle with overtourism, day trippers to the city will be taxed three, eight or ten euros (235, 627 or 784 INR) depending on the season, starting July 1, 2020.

Amsterdam

The Dutch city is restricting the growth of Airbnb rentals in certain areas and may prohibit cruise ships from docking in the city’s waters to reduce the number of tourists arriving every day. Other initiatives to stem the flow include redirecting visitors to less-visited areas.

Fjaðrárgljúfur

After featuring in a Justin Bieber music video, this Icelandic canyon became an overnight tourist hotspot, prompting authorities to only allow restricted entry for five weeks a year due to the environmental damage caused.

  • Tanay Gokhale enjoys writing and follows what he thinks is an eclectic mix of interests. Especially passionate about travelling with good music and a book to boot.

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?