Hanoi's main train station is right in the center, meaning the train tracks go straight through the city. The section leading to Long Bien Bridge pass by the Old Quarter, a dense residential area. Here houses stand so close to the tracks, that residents will get smack by any passing train, if they stick their head out at the wrong time. Luckily there are not that many trains heading this direction during the day, so people use the tracks as their backyard, which it pretty much also is. Laundry is hanged for drying, food is prepared and neighbours sit on the rails chatting. To take in this odd piece of ordinary Hanoi life, walk along the train tracks from Hanoi main train station towards the Long Bien Bridge (north).