I didn't realise Vietnam was so long!
So - when last I left you I was heading across the Laos / Vietnam border on a bus that had broken down four times, making my way towards Hue and a 7pm train connection!
|The first thing that struck me about Vietnam was how the scenery changed so quickly and dramatically from Laos.|
|As a historian - I could see issues with the Vietnam War policy of Defoliation and I had only been in the country half an hour!|
Well, the bus poodled on and on and on and didn't break down again but we didn't arrive in Hue until 8.30pm, far too late for the train connection to Ho Chi Minh City. So we were really left with one option - stay the night in Hue and reassess in the morning. Luckily there was a nice little guest house just along from the station and a nice little restaurant over the road.
|The view from our guest house in Hue.|
1) Get a train - but it wouldn't get to HCMC until the next morning meaning we missed a night in our hotel that was already booked.
2) Get a bus - which at this point in time we thought was quicker than a train!
3) Get a bus to the airport at Danang and see if we could fly - now when I had checked out flights a month earlier there weren't many available so I was worried about this option.
Therefore we chose option 2 and jumped in a cab to the bus station where we had arrived the previous evening. There was a VIP bus leaving within 15 mins and we bought our tickets and hopped on!
It was a strange bus - it felt a bit like an ambulance at first.
|Large comfortable seats - with a duvet.|
|10.30am - All aboard and off we went.|
|Lots and lots of rice fields|
|Lots of little villages.|
Another rest stop at about 8pm - and we got talking to a Buddhist nun - we asked her what time the bus would arrive in HCMC - expecting her to say about 11.30pm. When she said "Oh tomorrow morning sometime" we were dumbstruck - now you would have thought that we'd asked that question at the bus station - but we didn't and so we were faced with a night on the bus rather than our lovely hotel waiting for us in HCMC. To say I was miserable and cross was an understatement but there was nothing else for it - so - knowing we would laugh about it one day - we got back on the bus and settled down for the night.
|Eventually at about 8am the next morning we drifted into HCMC - my first sight of the Mekong since Mukdahan.|
|The bus driver made a delivery at a morning market.|
|Within minutes were seated on breakfast terrace eating the most amazing breakfast and the memories of the bus journey began to fade.|