To Nha Trang
To Nha Trang on the Train
Up, breakfasted, in a taxi by eight fifteen and at the train station by half past. Our train was sitting quietly, each carriage has a guard to check tickets and internet bookings on mobile phones. We find carriage three, passing an advertisement that acts as a sun shade and pass ‘the hard seats’.
Everyone settles in the ‘soft seats’ and we leave on the dot of nine o’clock, due in at four thirty (Hanoi in a couple of days). No sellers as in Myanmar, so the entertainment is provided by Train TV – oh, bring in the sellers – painful, shrill, way too cheesy Viet-ollywood blares from multiple speakers. Some clap earphones on, some poke earplugs in but some seem thrilled and watch agog. The breakfast trucks comes through, porters serving, one truck deals with plonking a lump of rice in a Styrofoam dish and the other has a selection of quite nice smelling meat, kebabs and other unknown ‘bits’, a watery gravy and a splodge of thick soya-looking-sauce. Small denomination notes change hands.
The crisp truck comes through and it takes about an hour to clear the city and get out into greenness.
We pass mile upon mile of aloe producing fields before we change to paddy fields.
Paddy fields change to the seaside.
We have sand for a while before we head back inland.
Back to paddy fields in various stages of crop, just seeded, just sprouting.
We stop briefly at a station and Bear checks on the boys.
Sugar cane for a change.
I loved this field, just seeded, footprints marking out perfect and even seed distribution thrown by very practised hands.
At a quarter past four we pull in to Nha Trang, four hundred and thirty four kilometres, that cost twenty eight dollars each. By car at least a twelve hour journey, a snip of a flight achieved in just seventy minutes. Seemingly cheap at fifteen dollars but by the time you add taxes, baggage and all the malarkey that goes with flying, add the fact that the airport is thirty kilometres out of town and the taxi would be about the same cost as the flight, we prefer the rail option. A smiling taxi driver scooped us the second we left the train and waited while Bear bought our next tickets to Danang, another ten hour journey in a couple of days time.
The usual motorbike scene beside us but it was nice to be beside the seaside.
We pass some massive constructions as new hotels are being built to increase the tourist trade here – Nha Trang Bay has regularly been voted in the top thirty most stunning bays in the world, we’ll have a bimble later and see for ourselves. The fairly unique part is the bay is protected by mountains on three sides but storms do regularly come from the sea and as recently as November many boats in the marina (over to the left) were destroyed in Typhoon Damrey. This ‘biggy’ sadly came ashore, killing fifty.
Fifteen minutes in the taxi, checked in to our new digs, breakfast ticked off the paper offered, up a flight of stairs, along to the end of the corridor and the boys try the bed. I wouldn’t say the bed is firm but between the floor and it there are very few softness points. The pillows are lovely, so on balance, just keep turning over to minimise the pins and needles we find works a treat.
We head out to explore taking in the grounds of our digs. The hall down our set of stairs has some wonderful pictures of all things local.
Fingers in the small, unheated pool may be all I get wet and there are well kept paths to the next block to ours. Outside, we head for the beach.
The sea is down the road, beyond the tall building and across the road. The hotel next door has a tiny footprint. No shortage of eateries on the side of the street.
Sadly, we have to skirt around many piles of rubbish left rotting.
The next eatery looks like it owns ‘normal’ seating, until Bear stands beside a seat. I try one and feel like I’m Goldilocks trying Baby Bear’s chair.
Huge piles of polystyrene, we cross the road and here we are at Nha Trang Bay.
Bear does his King Canute..... moving right along. We sit and wave watch until dusk and head back for pot noodles and the Movie Channel. We know how to big it up.
The eatery that we wondered whether the chairs would manage us, is now crowded with one huge group. Our digs looks rather attractive.
ALL IN ALL WE SO LOVE OUR TRAIN JOURNEYS
REALLY COMFY, NICE COUNTRYSIDE