Authorities are clamping down on the cafes that line one of Hanoi’s most famous roads due to safety concerns. On an Old Quarter thoroughfare, known as ‘train street’, locomotives rumble down an active track just inches away from homes and other buildings. The juxtaposition of train tracks, which were built in 1902 by the French, and residential housing has made it hugely popular among travellers to the capital of Vietnam. But the municipal government of Hanoi has ordered that cafes alongside the train tracks close by October 12. This will make effect on the tourism industry.

Authorities cite danger to human life as the primary motivator for the shutdown. The boiling point came when a train travelling through Hanoi was forced to re-route because there were too many tourists on the tracks. Since 2018, ‘train street’ transformed from a cool novelty into a safety concern.

When it comes to overtourism, some destinations face more of a challenge than others. While Hanoi’s government can close down cafes, it’s hard to totally shut down a public street inhabited by local residents. Still, controlling crowds and curbing bad social media behaviour is an ongoing problem in the travel industry, including other destinations in Asia.