We had our last breakfast in Hanoi, overlooking the city from our top floor breakfast room at the May de Ville Hotel.
Then it was off to the train station, where we had a bit of drama when we realized our guide did not have our tickets. Very quickly the owner of the travel agency we had booked through showed up in his rain gear, having ridden over to the station on his motorbike in the rain. Before long we were boarded and on our way.
Mike snuggled up under the covers of our compartment while I caught up on my journal writing. I loved the country that we saw, and the break from sight-seeing for a day was not unwelcome. Lunch? I wouldn't recommend it.
Below you will see snippets of our train ride. I love the huge number of motorbikes waiting at a traffic light and the architecture of Vietnam: the tall skinny buildings with interesting decorations on the top level.
We had people come into our compartment, asking to practice their English with us, and eventurally ended up with two people sharing our compartment. I felt so lucky to have the lower bunks. Our views from the train ended with nightfall and we finally arrived in Hue at midnight.
Hue has the allure of once being the Royal Capital of Vietnam with many Pagodas and Emperors' Tombs. It also was the sight of one of the longest and bloodiest battles during the Vietnam War (or as they saw in Vietnam, the American War) in 1968. So as we visited the wonderful historical sights of Hue, many were or had been demolished and it is a long process to rebuild the splendor that was the Hue of the past.
We were treated to a lot of river travel while in Vietnam. This was a short trip up the Perfume River to an historical sight.
We then went back down the river to visit the Citadel and Forbidden Purple City.
And here in Central Vietnam the New Years brings apricot blossoms.
And drove to an Emperor's Tomb.
On the road we enjoyed these billboards.
The next day we traveled to Tam Giang Lagoon, a place to see the rural communities at work.
|A person makes $5 for a finished chair.|
After visiting the lawn furniture and bamboo weaving facility, we were off to the water to experience the fisherman's life.
|A ferry ride across the lagoon.|
|Thank you for the tea and use of your restroom!|
Heading back to the city of Hue, we saw plenty of the iconic rice paddies of Vietnam.
Next: our final destination, Ho Chi Minh City.