From sapa i undertook a gruelling 32 hour ...
Trip Start Oct 25, 2001
56Trip End Ongoing
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Both forms of transport were slow, travelling at an average speed of 27mph!!!
By the time i boarded the train i was cream crackered (knackered) and had a overnight sleeper ticket. Well they said it was a 'sleeper' but laying on nothing more than a piece of hardboard and a straw mat wasn't my vision of a 'sleeper'
Arrived in Hue some 16 hours after boarding the train, and checked in at the nearest hotel. Its a hotel that mainly catered for local Vietnmese, so early mornings were guaranteed by the locals next door clearing their throats, and singing and shouting at the crack of dawn.
The rooms costing $9 a night, and has hot water, and a small TV that showed American/ French films dubbed over in Vietnemese by 1 woman who done 'ALL'the voices for the men/women/and children!!!!!It was hilarious to watch as you can imagine
The next morning i decided to visit the DMZ area (The dividing line between North and South Vietnam) which saw some of the bloodiest battles in the American war.
We visited the nearby Vin Moc tunnels that were built by the VC,and local villagers to house large families to protect them from the violent bombings above. The tunnels were hand dug taking 16 months to create and went down 3 levels (12m/18m/26m)and stretching for over 1.2km. These tunnels have remained exactly the same as they had 30 years ago. It was fasinating to walk down into the tunnels. Some points of the tunnel were at least 6m high, and had various rooms such as meeting rooms/hospital room/and entertainment room
11 babies were born in the tunnels, and locals lived down there for 7 years.
The next day i wanted to hire a taxi bike for the day, but was unsure because it looked overcast. After finding a English speaking driver who was keen to take me around the town, i told him i wasn't sure because it looked like it was going to rain...
"No, no. its not going to rain. I can guarantee it" he said almost trying to usher me over to his bike. Then i felt a few drips of rain hit my face, then suddenly the heavens opened up pouring down with rain. Just my luck. I spent the rest of the day watching rain fall from the street restaurant, followed by a evening of feature films dubbed over in Vietnemese (...and yes it was the same lady doing the voice overs!) from the comfort of my hotel bed. It continued to pour down non stop for 21 hours! So much for the bike drivers reassurance!
The next morning i made my way to the bus stop. It was still raining so i thought i would treat myself and travel the 2kms on a 3 wheeled cycle rickshaw. After negotiating a price i squeazed in with all my luggage, but it was front heavy (all my bags) and the rickshaw tilted forward leaving me cocooned in the front seat inches from the pavement. It must have looked hilarious from passers by as the rickshaw driver was pushing on the rear wheel trying to get his rickshaw back on the ground.
Again when we pulled up at the bus station the rickshaw tilted forward as i tried to climb out i lost my footing hitting my head on the canopy, and rolling out onto the pavement. The driver tried to keep a straight face as i picked myself and my bags off the wet pavement laughing my head off!!!!!
Next stop Hoi An...