Hanoi On The Tracks
Photograph ‘train street’ away from the tourists
We were the first tour company ever to bring guests to Hanoi’s now famous ‘train street’. Back in 2012, we’d just encounter the locals who lived alongside the tracks, and of course the trains that rumbled through every once in a while. Our little tour made such a splash that we ended up talking about it on Discovery and the Travel Channel, and some of our guests even had their pictures published in international media. Now, of course, peak times find this special little corner of Hanoi crammed with foreign travellers, and most of the local homes have been converted into cafes and bars. In October 2019, the city government decided to close off that ‘train street’ to visitors.
As luck would have it, we were already developing a new Hanoi On the Tracks tour, in a different part of the city. Now you can experience the real local atmosphere of life along Hanoi’s railway, without all the tourist cafes and instagrammers. And yes, you’ll still get to shoot the train rolling between the houses! You’ll also explore markets, lakes, parks full of people exercising, and try some delicious street food while following the tracks.
Along the way, you’ll learn how to create a photographic story using different types of image and how to manipulate the settings on your camera depending on the kind of picture you want to take, the light, and how fast your subject (ie the train) is moving.
Just please keep the actual locations to yourself – we need to keep this one quieter than the last!
The tour runs from 5:30 to 9:30am beginning near Hanoi Railway Station. The price includes pick-up from your hotel, starting at 5am.
Learn the art of street photography while exploring 'train street'
5:00am – Hotel pick-up
5:30am – We start the tour on a small ‘train street’ near Hanoi Railway Station. There is an introduction to the tour and overview of camera settings.
6:00am – We focus on the ‘context’ shot, and just after 6am, our first train comes rattling through for a classic image. We’ll be set up well for this picture, getting the perfect vantage point.
6:30am – We wander along the small street. Here the photographic emphasis is on capturing life around the tracks, and the businesses and activities that spring up alongside. We’ll capture pictures of people in their daily lives here.
7:00 am – We now arrive at a small market on the tracks. Locals are selling fresh vegetables, meat and all sorts of daily goods. It’s the perfect chance to snap some more images of daily life and portraits of the locals.
7:30 am – We head into a small nearby park, where people are doing their morning exercises. This is a visual feast for people photography, and we’ll be capturing classic images of local Hanoians.
8:30am – Time for a quick tea break and review of pictures taken so far.
9:00am – We get back onto the tracks again for another shot of the train coming through, this time capturing the chaos of traffic around the locomotive as it steams through.
9:30am – We now head for a local breakfast, coffee and picture selection before hailing a cab back to your hotel.