best train ride ever: ha noi -> hue

Hue Travel Blog

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i didn't know what to expect when i sat into the taxi to the train station. attendants yelling at me? people sitting all over me in the bottom bunk? etc....

it started nice: they even have english speaking information staff at the train station! wow, note to china: it's nice to have someone actually understanding english at the (english labeled) information counter

i arrived just when the gate opened and boarded my sleeper car. nice attendant this time, no yelling. found my bed, pacsafed my crap to the bed and awaited my 5 room-mates for the night... and i couldn't have been luckier

first a guy in a suit came with two extra-large gigantic suitcases. he was a vietnamese living & working in new york and was visiting some friends in hue and brought two suitcases of books back (or so... he was dodging questions what he actually does in new york besides working in a small viet restaurant and i wondered if a vietnamese cook really can afford a nice new nokia phone hehe)

next, 3 stunning beautiful young girls from hue entered. one a bit older than the other two and they were on 'business trip' in hanoi. after the older one constantly mentioned that the two were not married which they supported by smiling at me in the way only asian can smile i began to worry what kind of business i am dealing with here... but no worries, they are accountants at a vietnam bank.

an older guy joined a bit later while the suit guy was starting as well that i should really marry a vietnamese girl and open a business in vietnam. i wasn't sure if i could ever get out of the train without committing to anything but we had a blast and we had great conversations about vietnam at the moment. they even invited me to dinner which i could not reject even though the soup-meat looked kind of dodgy, if not to say doggy

the old guy joined the conversation in vietnamese and started bashing the vietnamese government... seems like the bureaucracy and control-freakish behavior won't give them good acceptance ratings any time soon... besides the tendency to shun political enemies quite effectively... nevertheless suitguy and the ladies insisted of me settling in vietnam and gave me heaps of tips for hue

i slept well and woke up an hour before we arrived in hue. even got a small breakfast served. waved everyone goodbye and went to look for my cyclo pickup which of course was not around.

hired a cyclo myself and the bugger tried to convince me during every second of the 15 minute trip to go to this very good budget hotel he knows so i had 'HALO GUESTHOUSE, nowhere else, ok?' on autorepeat. but he was nice enough to actually deliver me at the halo and i move into my new aircon/tv/fridge/bathtub home after a short bargain session.
mathieucalvet says:
Posted on: Aug 03, 2009
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photo by: Paulovic