A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about train travel

I haven't read the news for weeks!


It's hot and sunny today, so Amy and I are taking a break in an internet "cafe" (really, just a room with old computers) for a bit. We've been walking around this morning checking out fabric shops, a food market (vietnamese coffee is in a bag ready to come home with me) and an artisan workshop. Not sure what the rest of the day holds for us - we may actually be fitted for a piece of clothing, as this is the best place in Vietnam for that sort of thing. And, there's a huge delicious sounding beach not far away, so we may rent bicycles and go there too.
We are staying in the old part of Hoi An, and the streets are so narrow that automobiles are not allowed on the streets! That is SUCH a nice feature, and quite opposite of what we've become accustomed to. Crossing the streets in both Thailand and Vietnam is like playing Russian Roulette (not that bad, really), and although Amy and I are fantastic at dodging cars now, its nice not to have to. If anybody wants to challenge us to a game of Frogger when we get home, do it. You'll be shamed!

Like I said yesterday, we decided to extend our time in Hoi An by one day. We purchased a train ticket from here to Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon) and should have boarded the train already, but instead we purchased a plane ticket which leaves tomorrow evening instead. So, yes, we wasted money, but we didn't like the train much at all - and it takes 13 hours by train and only 1 hour by plane...It cost $60 which we decided was ok. Speaking of the train - here's the scoop about that. It was pretty unsavory. I adore train travel and was very excited about being able to watch Vietnam go by while relaxing and perhaps sipping coffee. That didn't happen, really. I mentioned Jason and Cait - they were (are) wonderful and they saved us from going crazy. We were cramped up in a tiny room that barely fit the 4 beds inside of it. The train had no observation car, no dining car, no anything-car. We were trapped either in our room or in the cars' aisle ways. And, really, it was quite dingy. They brought us "dinner" at around 9pm but it looked just awful, like gruel (I don't know what that looks like, but if I had to guess..). And breakfast was ramen noodles (ok). Amy and I thought ahead and brought sandwiches for dinner, but the bread had turned hard before we ate them. While trying to eat them, we actually hit heads because of the strength we had to use to bite them! And, the bathrooms...not so bad, overall, but in the morning - so bad.. yikes.

About the countryside that we did see - simply beautiful. We passed through villages and the ocean and mountains. Lovely lovely. Its so interesting to see how simply people live. Makes me feel like a glutton.

Tomorrow - Ho Chi Minh City, and we stay for 2 nights then off to Singapore for less than 24 hours and then home. It's coming so quickly. I will be sad to leave here. Of course home is home, but I'm really enjoying my time away!

And, mom - yes we took separate motorbikes to the train station! Ha.

And Momi - say what?! about your broken leg??????????????????????

Posted by radish 21:00 Archived in Vietnam Tagged train_travel Comments (11)

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