The Reunification Express
Trip Start Dec 05, 2007
17Trip End Jan 02, 2008
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We had brought a picnic dinner, bread rolls and cheese, cashew nuts choc biscuits and chips, sticky rice, bananas and mandarins and some cans of beer. After a few hours of fun and enjoying the rocking of the train I fell asleep and woke up with misty light outside and saw the sun gleaming off the paddie fields
By the time we got into Hue about 8am it was familiar overcast, but much cleaner air than Hanoi.This seems a very nice quiet town, full of history and political intrigue. We met up with alocal guide who took us to the Citadel, and the Imperial Enclosure, oozing with historical buildings where the emperor and his wives, concubines and mandarins used to live and carry out his official functions.
After an hour walking around these magnificent buildings that are gradually being restored faithfully as they used to be, we went to the banks of the Perfume River. Here we got on a (tin) dragon boat and chugged up river visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda which had been a stronghold of Buddhists and student opposition to the South Vietnamese government and the war. They have the Austin car on show that the monk Thich Quang Duc traveled to Saigon in and then publicly burned himself to death to protest the policies of President Ngo Dinh Diem.
We travelled on. The river is wide and a beautiful deep green colour, like jade. Misty mountains were in the background. Then we got off at a river bank maybe 8 kms upstream and walked a little while till we came across our minibus waiting faithfully
Tonight had a dinner dressed as kings and queens, serenaded by a group of authentic musicians, each dish decorated with fruits and vegies cut into shapes of ducks, boats, flowers etc. All very beautiful and delicious ! Heard some Vietnamese frogs croaking, they sound like a hoarse dog bark. Tomorrow it's on to Hoi An, new mini bus, new driver. Ho hum what a life ! By the way this hotel is swish, beautiful room and free internet. Still slow at uploading photos but I've figured out how it works. So check out some pics in my previous entries.