Published: January 12th 2013December 29th 2012
Yesterday we were in Saigon. Today, we woke up in Hoi An. You see there is a train that runs from Saigon in the south of Vietnam all the way to Hanoi in the north. Even further perhaps. This train has always been a much anticipated part of our holiday plan: catch the overnight train from Saigon (soft sleeper cars, or course), get to see some of the Vietnamese countryside and eventually wake up in Danang. From there we just need to get a taxi to Hoi An and we're set. There's a photo tour in Hoi An I really want to do, so it all fitted in quite nicely.
Except for one small problem. As we stood in the foyer of our Saigon hotel, it became apparant that all of the sleeping ars on the train were booked out. All thats was left is the non-airconditioned hard wooden seats. The concierge at the hotel first laughs slightly and then looks concerned when we ask whether he thinks this is freasible option. Looking at the photos we can see why. But, the train trip has ALWAYS been part of the plan. Always. And so... we booked flights to Danang. Call
us wimps, but after seeing pictures of the seats (think the old wooden seats on the Manly Ferry) we decided that's not how we needed to spend the next 17 or so hours.
So here we are in Hoi An. It's been busy. Before we even got to our hotel we'd been taken to see the "marble factory" (read - excuse to for shuttle bus driver to take us to a souvenier shop where he gets commission), we've had awesome dinner by beach in the rain, climbed marble mountains, checked out of our seaside hotel, caught a shuttle to the old town and wandered around our backpacks like legit backpackers, checked into another hotel in the old town, walked from our new hotel to the 'nearby' Chinai beach for a swim, and discovered after a number of kilometers that China beach is actually across the road from our old hotel. And it has signs that say no swimming. Rebels thbat we are Jane and I, we paddled in the cold water up to our knees anyway. To wind up the day we wandered through the old town, admiring the lanterns that Hoi An is known for and searching for
Tomorrow, while Jane and Craig sleep I'll be up with the sparrows (or Cambodian equivalent) for the photography tour that I've been so looking forward to. Let's hope the nice weather holds! [Scroll down for a few more photos!]
There are more photos below