Monday, September 19, 2011

Chopsticks in my ears and noisy bloody bin lorries!

We left the hotel in Nha Trang and grabbed a taxi to the train station. The taxi driver, as with normal Vietnamese drivers, decided it was important that we reached the train station as quickly as possible and drove as fast as he could overtaking everything on the road, beeping his horn all the way, until we arrived at the station. It was then that we discovered that the train was delayed by about 50 minutes, so we sat in the cramped crowded waiting room with all the other passengers.

At about 10.15pm, we heard an announcement in Vietnamese and then English that there were 2 trains arriving. One towards Saigon and our towards Hanoi. We made our way through the doors and the throng waiting on the platform and saw tow signs – SE3, the train to Saigon would arrive at platform 2 and SH2 our train, would arrive at platform 3 – meaning we had to walk across the tracks to the platform. As we did, we noticed that one of the many guards, did something to the signs – so I crossed back and saw that she had switched the platform numbers, so that SE3, now arrived at platform 3 and SH2 at number 2. Its a good job we noticed otherwise we would have been in Saigon the next morning! So we crossed back across the tracks – literally, walking across the tracks, no bridge or walkway, and waited till our train arrived. Next to us was a man, sitting on a bench, with two live turtles in a small bucket, which he kept pushing back in with his feet. You could tell the turtles weren’t happy – but we didn’t know if it was because they didn’t like trains or of the bloke has particularly smelly feet. We boarded the train and started our overnight journey to Danang and Hoi An.
Duog so is the platform number- this 03 was swapped from the other sign below

Our train showing the correct platform!



I slept quite well on the train, waking up when the sun came up just after 5am and then vegging out until the Vietnamese woman who shared our cabin, decided to sit with the door open, waiting for her stop at about 6am. Once she had gone though, we closed the door and waited until our stop at Danang. A taxi ride took us down to our Hotel in Hoi An. Its a cool hotel with a pool top roof and since the weather is great we will be using it!

Me and Buffy had a look around town for a while and then Buffy had most of her hair cut off on the spur of the moment! It looks really good now and after that we ended up in the pool by mid afternoon due to the heat. Then in the evening it was a nice meal by the riverside and then a G and T before back to bed.
Saturday came and as it was my birthday, we had a lie in and then spent the morning touring the sights of the town - a couple of temples and old style houses, was followed by a short while in a local tailors – there are hundreds of tailors here who will make you anything you like – so Buffy picked out a new coat and then had herself measured and fitted for it – It will be ready tomorrow!

In the evening we had yet another great meal in town, this place is really mellow and a really nice place to spend a few days and relax. The only down point is that we were woken up at about 8am by the dustbin lorry. You would think that the noise of the lorry is enough, but over here, for some reason, the lorry plays a really annoying loud tune as it tours the streets picking up the rubbish. I think it does this so that people get out their shite and get the lorry away as quickly as possible, but it is really loud and annoying.
A few pics from Hoi An


We are here....

Sorry to bore you, but the rest of the day was spent, having lunch, swimming and relaxing by the hotel pool and then we went back into town to pick up Buffys coat and a blouse she had handmade as well. We actually sat in a bar opposite the tailors and got called across when it was ready, so we had a couple of cheap large beers before going back home and getting ready for a night out.

Later on in the evening we got ready and went out for dinner. We found a cool little restaurant by the river front and had a local type of Hotpot. It was quite nice, but not as good as a decent northern hotpot from home. We also met a couple of Australian blokes who we had a good chat with and we scared away a few hawkers who tried to sell us stuff, by putting the chopsticks in my ears and then trying to sell them to the hawkers – one girl laughed while an old woman didn’t see the funny side and wandered off in a huff!

It was then off to a bar where the football was being shown on a big screen. It was great for about 20 minutes, but then the picture started to get fuzzy and finally died – I correctly assumed it to be because of a storm and we made our way back to the hotel, arriving just as the rain started to fall really heavily. I then put the football on the internet and watched the rest of the game as United kept up their 100% start to the season. 
It was hot

We were woken up today by some local bloke banging loudly at about 7am and then again by the stupid bin lorry at 9am, as it collected the rubbish, whilst playing the really loud annoying tune!! This country is too noisy! Its no wonder everyone gets a sleep in the middle of the afternoon – Its because they cant sleep in the morning and get woken by everything that moves.

We leave Hoi An today and get the overnight train to Ninh Binh, where hopefully it will be slightly cooler and a lot quieter!! Fingers crossed.


Here is the actual bin lorry that woke us today.......

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