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  • Day44

    A Train to Dong Hoi

    October 26, 2016 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Another early morning start today to ensure we arrive in time for our train leaving the station at 9am which is destined for Dong Hoi. Our journey time today is a lot shorter than previous journeys with an arse on seat time of 10 hours.

    We arrived at the station after weaving our way through the small streets of Hanoi and millions of scooters and had plenty of time spare to pick up my fav drink - iced vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. We found our platform and jumped on the train to find out seats. We had a four seater table and ended up sharing with an older vietnamese gentleman and a mother with her 2 year old child who seemed to be in awe of Jamie and I (and who wouldn't be right?). Behind us, we had another young child (about 7 or 8 years old) who was very interested in everything we had ranging from my tablet, Jamies iPod and our food.

    To be honest, there isn't a huge amount to report today. So i thought I would just list some interesting observations

    🔶The train was a bit older than the ones we had been on previously and instead of having a restaurant car, people come through the carriage with a trolley selling everything from curry, steamed corn, donuts and rice. Unlike our previous journeys, you would never go hungry on this train.
    🔶There were a number of cathedrals spotted in and amongst the country on our train journey which was extremely odd considering the main religion of this country is Folk Religion, followed by Buddhism.
    🔶The high water mark, indicated by the discoloration caused by mud on the trees indicated that the water level in Typhoon season was as high as 5m above the normal water level.
    🔶The train is quite slow and we ended up being nearly 1 hour behind schedule, but was pleasant enough and was nice to be sitting with the locals.

    Once we arrived in Dong Hoi, we grabbed a taxi to our hotel which is on the waterfront, pleasing Jamie. We checked into our room and decided to eat in the hotel restaurant as we were tired from the long day of travel. We ordered a salad and what turned out to be a whole chicken cut up and presented on a large dish, bones and all. I didnt look at the plate as soon as it was placed but apparently the head of the chicken was also cooked, split in two and presented as the main event on the dish. Jamie fortunately moved it before I could see, but once I was finished eating he proceeded to show me the head, to which I almost vomited and had to excuse myself from dinner for the rest of the evening to run upstairs and away from chicken. I know, I know, im such a GIRL.

    Another day down, and I can safely say that Vietnam is one of the most amazing places I have ever travelled to. The people are friendly, the food is amazing and the culture is beautiful. Im so glad we have another 2.5 weeks here.
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