35 Hours on a Train


Our Vietnam holiday just gets better

I think my husband (the other captain) has developed a new allergy: trains.
His aversion for buses is already legendary. I honestly don’t know how I talked him in to taking the 1726 km train trip from HCMC to Hanoi but despite trembling with terrible terrible train angst leading up to it we boarded on New Years Day for the next leg of our Vietnam holiday.

Our four berth soft sleeper was also occupied by three locals. (Yes I know that adds up to five inmates but I mentioned in my last post they do tourism differently in Vietnam).

Boredom sets in

We made friends with the kid who shared a berth with his granny. His eyes lit up whenever one of our electronic devices appeared.

We helped relieve his boredom by letting him wedge himself between us to watch a movie and later to play Angry Birds on a laptop. His victory dance when he scored was sensational.

Vietnam holiday part 2: our cabin mate was even more bored than the other captain
Our cabin mate was even more bored than the other captain

Vietnam holiday part 2: ...until we let him play Angry Birds
…Until we let him play Angry Birds

This leg of our Vietnam holiday really was slow travel in slow motion. Through the dirty train windows, to a clacketty clack soundtrack during the 35 hour journey we saw endless jungle; paddy fields; sheep; goats; water buffaloes; many many cemeteries; rivers; a glimpse of the sea.

Vietnam holiday through the train window: paddy fields
Through the train window: paddy fields
Vietnam holiday through the train window: train lines and timber
Through the train window: train lines and timber
Vietnam Holiday train scenery: buffaloes
Through the train window: buffaloes
Vietnam Holiday train scenery: banana trees
Through the train window: banana trees
Vietnam Holiday train scenery: sheep
Through the train window: sheep
Vietnam holiday train scenery: a glimpse of the sea
Through the train window: a glimpse of the sea

A meal of Bia 33 and boiled eggs

Our ten carriage train carried a live rooster. In cattle class there were babies sleeping comfortably on the floor and a local family having a meal of Bia 33 and boiled eggs.

During the night they did a sneaky trick and moved the canteen carriage from the front to rear. My first thought as I woke up was that we were going backwards, slow travel in reverse.

Finally we arrived in Hanoi. And were quickly scammed by a taxi driver on yaba. I’ll tell you about the Hanoi part of our Vietnam holiday in my next blog.

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I'm a sailing traveller floating around South East Asia on my boat Yana de Lys. I spend as much time as I can exploring the back streets and pretending to act like a local. Everything I talk about is simply based on my own experiences. (But hey - I'm open to sponsorship offers from five star hotels and stuff. Bring it on!) Get in touch with me on: +61 411 220 592 and +61 8 6255 5074 penny@sailingtravelblog.com

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