On the Tracks - Life along the city rails

Photography Day Tours


Vietnam in Focus run acclaimed photography tours throughout Vietnam and Indochina.

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.

Learn the art of street photography while exploring 'train street'

What to Expect

On this photo tour you’ll experience and photograph daily life along Hanoi’s urban railway, including the rush and adrenaline of capturing the morning train flying through “train street”, a narrow residential alleyway. We’ll also explore a bustling early morning market, some colorful backstreets and the activities around the inner city residential lakes, all of which provide fantastic opportunities for portraiture and some very unique street photography.

Tour HighlightsPhotographic Highlights
Train Street (New Location)
Experience the Morning Train
Morning Market
Residential Urban Area
Morning Lakeside Activities
Camera Settings
Lens Options
Street Photography
Documentary Photography
Story Boarding
Context and Relationships
Low Light Photography

Tour Length: 4hrs ( 5:30 – to 9:30 am)
Hotel pickups commence approximately 30 minutes prior to this time

Level of Difficulty: Moderate Physical activity (Walking)

What’s IncludedWhat’s Excluded

Hotel Pick up
Non-alcoholic beverages
Professional Photographer Guide


Recommended Equipment

DSLR Camera or Film Camera
Memory Card
Fully Charged Battery
Wide angle or Zoom lens


Amazing, authentic slice-of-life private tour
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We woke at the crack of dawn for a tour of the Long Bien wholesale market along the railroad tracks, where we had a photo lesson and proceeded to take pictures of the market activity and have breakfast. Then we continued along the tracks for more unusual photos and in-depth, local color commentary from our fabulous guide Duc Nguyen. This was a major highlight of our trip and I would recommend it highly.
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We arranged for an afternoon tour for the two of us. We were picked up at the hotel and taken to Long Bien Station where the tour began. We learned a lot about Hanoi, trains, neighborhoods, history, food and photography -- you name it. It was fascinating!! Our guide, Mansour, could not have been more helpful and informative. This was by far the best tour experience we had in Hanoi. Highly recommended.
Do it!!
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This tour was great on so many different levels. Brilliant tour guide/instructor. Boris was simply amazing. My husband and I have very different levels of photography, him being experienced and me inept. Despite this Boris tailored it brilliantly so that we both got lots out of it, my husband improving technique and gaining the confidence in taking shots of locals, and me learning the basics enough to get some great shots. On top of that Boris was very informative about local life and culture.
Fantastic photography lesson
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I wasn't sure about this tour as I've always just used the auto function on my camera, - but I learned how to use loads of really useful functions both on my digital camera and smartphone. Our guide Boris was really good, giving loads of tips on composing great photos, which we used on the rest of our trip. It was a really early start, but worth it to see the food market in full flow - that in itself is a real experience - the woman shaving pigs ears will always stay with me.
A great way to discover Hanoi
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We went on the Hanoi on the tracks tour with Hai. As reasonably keen amateur photographers but completely new to Hanoi it was a great experience from start to finish. Hai really helped us find some interesting shots whilst giving us real insight and background into the places we were seeing.
Midday tour on the tracks
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I went on this tour as a fairly novice photographer particularly compared to my fellow tourists. I loved it. Boris was our guide and he certainly helped me work my new camera and got it setup to work well for the photos we were taking. He showed us techniques that you read about but now I can perfect.

Per person


Per Person


Per Person
3-5 People

All Tours with Vietnam in Focus are Private. 


All photos are taken on tour by previous guests and tour guides

Tour FAQ's

In the event of forecasted heavy rain, we’ll contact you to reschedule or cancel the tour and give you a full refund.  If it’s early morning and raining heavily, our guide will call you on the phone number you gave us to discuss options for postponement or cancellation.  In the event of cancellation we’ll issue a full refund.

Yes, you can.  We have a Nikon DSLR available to rent for $30 per tour including free memory card.  Please enquire on booking.

Yes, you do.  Vietnam in Focus is not liable to pay any costs associated with injury etc on our tours.

Yes, they can.  Costs (or free joining) depend on each tour, so please enquire on booking.

Yes, you can.  People often join our tours using film cameras.  You may not be able to edit in camera, but the composition tips are still basically the same.

Yes, you can.  Smartphone cameras are pretty amazing nowadays.

Training or guidance will be provided by our photographers throughout the tour. Our guides will tailor your learning experience depending on your interest, style and experience from amateurs to professionals we can provide simple techniques to improve your photography, gain further knowledge of your camera and lenses, as well as develop your photographic eye to capture that amazing shot.

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Tailored Photography Tours

Want a little more from your visit to Vietnam, let us tailor your photographic adventure

Customize Your Photography Experience

Our unparalleled knowledge of travel and culture in Vietnam, and where and when to get the best shots, mean we are experts in designing tailormade photo tours.  We have planned and run tours for everyone from professional photographers on a mission to amateurs who want to get to know their cameras better on an adventure.  Each person and group is different, so once you’ve completed the few questions below, expect to answer a few more before we can create your ideal photographic adventure.

On the Tracks


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