We decided to take the express train north from Hue to Ninh Binh, Viet Nam, a mere 12 hours. We had a 5:41 am departure with reserved soft sleepers. It's pretty funny for all the times we've traveled you still find yourself checking, confirming and reconfirming, especially when you don't speak the language.
As we entered our cabin, we found two men sleeping on the top berths; we had reserved the bottom ones. As much as you try to be quiet, it just doesn't work. Both men gave us the “stink eye.” We settled in and tried going to sleep. Low and behold the men on top also went back to sleep, and one snored with a steady resounding rumble. Pay back! About an 1-1/2 hours later the men got up as they were getting off at the next stop. Climbing down requires stepping on the lower berths. When they left we recieved a cheery bye bye, and the cabin was ours alone for the rest of the trip. The countryside as we headed north was beautiful. Viet Nam is very agricultural with lots of small family farms. Rice is grown everywhere, over 140 varieties.
We asked each other at the conclusion of the train ride whether we'd do it again and both agreed YES!
It was definitely not designed for folks like me
A tad snug when you lay down
Laura did just fine though. We bought a Vietnamese SIM card and had internet the whole way.
They fed us several times during the trip. We started declining the food because it was too much. I joked, it tasted just like airline food.
Remember our earlier post in Hoi An about soccer? Well today was THE BIG day. Soccer fever on the train was running high. Unfortunately Viet Nam lost to Uzbekistan in overtime (Uzbekistan 2, Viet Nam 1).
She was SUCH a cutie! So inquisitive.
We had the cutest little girls who kept coming by and looking at the strange older westerners in the cabin next door. They sang and danced and were cute beyond measure. Typical siblings though, still such sweet hearts!
Rice fields everywhere.
They even raise corn.
So many small family farms!
We stopped in many places as the train is a key way to get around Viet Nam. People were always getting on
and off at each stop.
What a great experience!