Note: I’m really sorry for the recent travel blog hiatus. I recently finished my final term of university whilst working at a new job. Let’s just say things got REAL. Anyway, more on that another time. Back to the blog!
We woke up early in Nha Trang and got ready to say goodbye to Mai’s wonderful apartment.
It was hard to leave because it was genuinely such a cosy, sweet apartment and Nha Trang had been wonderful so far. One of the draw backs of booking everything in advance is that if you really love one particular city it’s hard to re-arrange everything around the option to stay for longer. Still, I much prefer the feeling of knowing where I’m going and what’s coming next, and we were really excited to head to Da Nang and savour all it had to offer!
We got to the railway station and walked over the tracks to get to our train. We got a bit worried when our train (the NH1) started moving, but it was just linking up carridges. We nearly jumped on (stunt man style) I think we were both pretty tired and our brains weren’t working properly yet.
For this journey we hadn’t booked either of the sleeper options, so we spent the next 12 hours in a chair going backwards (soft seat option). It really wasn’t that bad, but if you’re thinking of doing this journey, and you can afford to pay for a soft sleeper option, then I would suggest you go for it if you want that extra bit of comfort. If I was doing it again I probably would go for the soft sleeper, just for the extra leg room/somewhere to lie down etc…
Despite the initial worry that it would be uncomfortable, I had a 2 hour doze and enjoyed watching the the world racing by when I woke up. I LOVE train journeys, there’s just something about being in transit and watching the landscape go by that makes me feel really content.
We had bought snacks for the journey so we nibbled on our Ritz crackers and Oreos and watched The Grand Budapest Hotel – great film.
The bathroom, similar to the train from Ho Chi Minh, was what you’d expect. I would suggest that you bring your own toilet roll and wear shoes if you’re heading too the loo. Our train had been sprayed with water at some point during the journey and the window had been open – so the bathroom was a bit soggy!
Whilst on our journey we also got some personalised entertainment in the form of a train attendant singing along with what sounded like a karaoke track on his phone. He was living his best life. About 5 hours in we realised that the occasional percussive noises from the train chugging along fit really well to ‘the lion sleeps tonight’. I found it pretty amusing (it was a 12 HOUR journey after all, we needed all the entertainment we could get!)
When we got closer to Da Nang and the light outside began to fade I realised I had been bitten by something. We had forgotten to put our sun cream and insect repellant on because we were inside and it was air conditioned – itchyness ensued.
When we got to the station we headed into a taxi and then onward to our hotel. As we were riding to the hotel we saw people on motorbikes holding Vietnamese flags and honking. Our driver told us “Vietnam 3, Korea, 1 – football”. It was really fun to see a breif glimpse of these celebrations in Da Nang.
Once we were settled at our hotel we headed back out and went to look for somewhere to eat. Everything was closing, so we ended up heading back to the hotel and devouring the minibar for dinner! Each hotel we’d stayed in so far had a selection of drinks and snacks availiable in their mini bar (some also had ramen noodles too). The prices of the snacks were okay and it was handy after a long trip. We often came in after a long journey or a hot day out exploring in the sun and took the cold drinks from the mini fridge. The hotel staff would then simply add this to the total charge at the end of the trip. Easy, cheap and hassle free. I love a good minibar!
We watched die hard and I fell asleep – the beds at this hotel were SO comfortable! I woke up at the climax of the film when ‘ode to joy’ was playing (if you know you know) and realised I’d napped through pretty much the whole film. It’s weird how sitting on a train for 12 hours can make you so tired!
We had booked tickets to Ba Na Hills the next day, so we headed to sleep, dreaming of our next adventure.
To read my previous travel blog click here!