Got up at 5:45am and had a quick breakfast of fruit. At 6:30am we left for the train station to catch the day train to Ninh Binh
. We sat in the station for ages watching the same ads play over and over, until finally an announcement came over the loudspeakers saying our train had been delayed 20min. Not bad at all! We boarded the train and settled into our cabin. I was in one with L, K + M and L and I had the top bunks. Soon a lady came round to check our tickets and plenty of gesticulating and rapid-fire Vietnamese ensued between her and Y. We were on the wrong train! We scrambled to get our stuff together and off the train asap. I forgot my newly-found UK gossip magazine in the process, that the previous passenger had left behind. E was last off and crossed the opposite tracks to get to the platform with moments to spare; a lot of whistling and hand-waving quickly followed as another train pulled into the station - our train! We boarded that one fine and again settled in. I slept most of the way on the 11hr journey, snuggled up in the provided doona. The 'clean' sheet had plenty of long black hairs on it but oh well. The air con was merciless! K donned many many layers in order not to freeze! I also finished my first book and started on L's book 'Norwegian Wood' by Haruki Murakami. We arrived in Ninh Binh at 6:30pm or just after then headed straight to the Thuy Anh Hotel. There were 3 beds in our room, a big single and 2 standard singles. The room was okay but a little musty and there were plenty of mosquitoes buzzing about due to the open un-flywired windows. Had dinner at 7:30pm in the hotel restaurant, the usual beef with veggies and noodles and a hot chocolate they tried to turn into iced (which was what I'd ordered) by adding water. Yuk! Watched a good movie 'Crossing Over' before going to sleep quite late.