The route between Hue and Da Nang was supposed to be some of Vietnam’s most scenic. After a ferry/bus combo from Cat Ba Island, I went to the train station to buy overnight tickets directly. It was going to be a long two-day travel adventure!
From reading Seat61.com, the best overland-travel site ever, I had an idea of the process to buy tickets.
Fortunately I could read Vietnamese. Kind of. The price she charged me was higher than it should have been and being my auditor self, I went to verify on one of the numerous barely-decipherable signs in the station to confirm the amount. Once that was sorted, I felt better haha. I didn’t liked how the price was 0 dong (Vietnamese currency.) After all that, it still would’ve been cheaper to fly.
But then I wouldn’t have had all this space to myself! :P My cabinmates was a Brazilian woman who ranted about Chinese tourists and a attractive Dutch couple with fun stories and good humor. In the morning, the guy commented about what great rest he had because no one in the cabin snored haha.
The train departed more or less on time.
Peering out the grimy window.
I had picked up some takeaway before I had returned to catch the the train. Nom nom.
I borrowed the other travellers’ tourist guides to read about Hue. Was I getting off or wasn’t I? Yes no? Now or never or come back later? :? Everyone abandoned train at that stop. When I had bought tickets, transit to Hue was sold out but to continue on to Da Nang was still available. How that makes sense, I don’t know. So I stayed on for lack of better ideas.
I wanted to see this picturesque coastline! But the weather was not cooperating much.
There’s the train I am on!
Fire, why? Tell me, shirtless dude.
Meh. I think the most beautiful coastlineI’d ever seen was in California.
I miss swimming and beaches!
Scuba diving would be bland compared to where I have been so I did not even consider it for Vietnam.
These look edible. Leafy greens yumyumyum.
After everyone had departed the cabin, I may have busted out my Japanese portable speakers and Bangkok-legit-bought iPod shuffle.
One of the train employees had come by and asked whether I was hungry. I responded affirmatively, even though I wasn’t, and he gave me instant noodles. Interesting. He also told me my Vietnamese was terrible. I thanked him sincerely haha. Somebody finally tells me a truth I can believe!
Back to sitting at the window, watching the scenery go by.
Once in Da Nang, I did my usual you-goin’-where-I’m-goin’? dealio and shared a taxi with three other guys to Hoi An. I had no plan, didn’t feel like being in Da Nang, and had heard everyone loved Hoi An. Where was I at, 36 hours of travel so far? Keep going!
Once in Hoi An, I found myself a cheapish guesthouse. One of the ultra friendly reception girls recommended this restaurant for Cao Lau, the local noodle specialty.
It was a family owned restaurant. I felt like I was eating in their living room. I spoke in Vietnamese as possible and received the local price of 30,000 dong, about US$1.50.
Meh. I like pho better. The broth tasted like soy sauce soup.
I didn’t venture very far the first night other than to eat. Did walk by this billiards place, brightly lit.
Tomorrow will be here soon enough!