Our time here in Vietnam is winding down. We had planned to stay here for about six months, but we’ve had an offer from Sydney that we just can’t refuse. And, since moving back to Sydney has always been the end goal for this year, we don’t want to refuse the offer. It looks like almost three months in ‘Nam will have to do.
So, we had to leave Hue. Our little home away from home. We’d been in the small city for about five weeks and we’d made some really lovely friends there. But, since we wanted to see more of Vietnam, we had to hit the road.
And, in Vietnam, hitting the road means… TRAIN RIDE! A twenty hour train ride to be exact. We got soft sleepers with air conditioning again, but this time there were only top bunks available. I was worried about my 6’3 very tall husband, but the bunks were even big enough for him! We were very comfortable.
The train left Hue at 11am and was scheduled to arrive in Saigon at 5am the next morning. We didn’t actually arrive in Saigon until 6am. The trains all run on Vietnamese time, which is much like South American time, so we’re used to it by now.
The journey took us from the central coast of Vietnam, down the eastern edge of the country and into Saigon. We passed miles and miles of electric green rice paddies, tiny towns with ornate ancestor temples and even a few mountains in the distance.
We stocked up on lots of snacks and pot noodles for the journey, but when the food cart rolled through the train car at 5.30pm, we simply could not resist the smell of fresh, hot rice with spring rolls and greens. Dinner for two for US$4. Hit the spot!
After our dinner, we settled into our bunks to read and watch movies. The tiny (and, thankfully, silent!) Vietnamese ladies on the lower bunks went to sleep at about 6pm. Andy and I stayed up until closer to 11pm. We both had trouble falling asleep at first, but eventually the train rocked us to Snooze-ville.
And when we awoke, the pale grey light of dawn was filling our cabin. We packed up our backpacks and watched as Saigon, and a new day, approached.