Hoi An, Nha Trang
48 days away
600 km / 373 miles since last post
25,432 km / 15,803 miles total
Stu awoke with a bit of a sore head from the drinking last night. So I headed out first thing with Scott and Natalie to get something to eat on the day train today. We would be on the train for around 9.5 hours so would need food and drink for lunch and some snacks. We wandered down the street to find a decent food stall to get some sandwiches from, but nothing looked appealing. At this point Natalie then said there was a place opposite our hotel which does sandwiches - so we headed back there! I managed to get a couple of beef and salad sandwiches and some crisps, which should keep us going.
I don't think Stu was fully awake when we met everyone at 9:30am to get our bus taking us to Danang train station - which took about 45 minutes. It was a very hot and humid day today, so we hoped that the train would have some good air conditioning.
We got onto our train and left Danang around 11am. On getting aboard we headed straight for our sleepers, which were all together except for one sleeper where we had only three of our group (meaning sharing with one person we wouldn't know) and one of us would be in another sleeper with Thanh and a couple we wouldn't know. The way it worked out meant that Stu, Isobel and I were in the sleeper where there was already a little old Vietnamese woman who had one of the bottom bunks. She didn't speak a word of English but seemed very sweet and allowed us to sit on her bed so we could sit there and chat. She even offered us some of her fruit.
As this is only a day train, sharing a sleeper with someone we don't know isn't a huge issue. Michelle was supposed to be sharing with Thanh and two other strangers, but she spent most of the time around the other sleepers we were all sitting in. Isobel, Mia and I spent most of the time in our sleeper chatting, while Stu sat with the others doing some reading, playing games etc. It all helped to pass the time and the long train journey wasn't as bad as we'd expected. It was quite warm on the train, so we sat on the top bunks chatting, so we were close to the air con vent on the ceiling.
The train was quite dirty so we were glad we didn't have to sleep on this one. Monique said they even had a mouse in their sleeper!
As the time got to around 8:30pm, Thanh came round and told us all we had about 20 minutes until we were arriving at the station. Unfortunately, he has been misinformed and we suddenly felt the train coming into the station. None of us were ready, and we knew the train wouldn't be stopping long as Nha Trang was not the final stop - the train would be heading on south to Ho Chi Minh City!
It was a mad rush as we all jumped down from our bunks and tried to give everyone their rucksacks and make sure we had everything. I found a strength I never knew I had as I began almost throwing peoples rucksacks off the top bunks, and down to the floor so everyone could get hold of them. I think we were lucky that none of us had really unpacked anything from our bags, as it was just a day train, so we could just about get ourselves together before the train stopped and we got off. Although there was another moment of panic when Stu realised he had left his GPS device hanging on the curtain in our sleeper. It was a worrying 30 seconds as he dashed back on the train to retrieve it - but thankfully he got it and left the train before the train moved off!
Still a little pumped with adrenaline from the mad rush, we got a bus which took us to our hotel, where we had a few minutes to dump our luggage before meeting to go for some dinner. The hotel seems nice - as all our places have been - but we quickly made our way down to meet the group, and Thanh took us to a nearby restaurant.
On the way to the restaurant we saw a motorbike whizz by really fast, and suddenly there were loads of people shouting and cheering. Next we saw the police coming along to follow them. We did wonder what was going on at first, but Thanh advised us it was some people racing their motorbikes illegally, which is why the police were chasing them. I think it must be a fairly common occurrence, but the locals seem to like it!
The restaurant was ok, but not really the best place we've been. However, I had Pad Thai for dinner which was really nice, but I think some of the others in the group weren't too impressed.
After dinner, a few of us decided to walk back to our hotel via the beach. Nha Yrang is essentially a beach resort so we thought it was worth checking out how close it was to our hotel.
Near the beach we spotted some kind of photography exhibition so decided to wander over for a closer look. It turned out to be some kind of safety campaign I think as all the pictures were of various types of traffic crash victims - very graphic too! Perhaps it makes sense to do such a shocking campaign after witnessing the reaction to the motorbike racing ealier. A strange way to end the evening, but we soon headed back to the hotel and straight to bed - all quite tired after a long day of travelling.