We booked an overnight ‘soft-sleeper’ from Danang to Hanoi, making sure we had daylight to view the scenery between Danang and Hue.
We moved to the dining car to get a good view. The train slowly rattled along with stunning views of beaches, mountains and foliage.
The dining car was kinda funky but comfy and if we stood up (to see over the misted up part of the window) we got the view.
The sleeper was even funkier; and this was the deluxe version! We had top berths, but the bottom ones were empty for the early evening so we sat and played cards. At least the beds were bigger than the bus beds, plus the sounds and motion were much easier to handle. I think I managed an hour or two of sleep before our 5:30am arrival in Hanoi.
We arrived back at our apartment bright and early but, thankfully, a light was on in the landlady’s apartment and we were let into the building.
Our last week in Hanoi was spent packing our stuff into the appropriate bags for the airlines, visiting with friends, purchasing those last few souvenirs, watching TV and catching up on the blog. Plus a bit of strolling about, taking photos.
Transportation is always fascinating…
We spent an afternoon at the cinema (Alice in 3D) and an evening visiting the Old Quarter…
and on our last day we went for a long walk (since we’ll be sitting in planes for hours and hours)…
I’ve seen workers walking on the wiring while pulling new wire.
And lastly: a typical SE Asia T-shirt (I’ve a whole series of mannequin photos that’re pretty funny).
I’ve got one more page to put up: videos that never got processed until we got back to Hanoi. It may take a while (e.g. we’ll already be home) to finish them all but they do capture some of the essence of amazing SE Asia. Recently I realized that when I first arrived it was like being being visually reborn – everything was so different it took me a while to bring it all into focus, to comprehend what I was seeing. Not that I understand it all yet but at least I can focus and see what’s in front of me.
We’re going to miss the vibrancy of life here. There’s always something to see; no wonder people spend their lives on the streets, watching it all go by. When Sue flew out her seatmate was a young Vietnamese American, returning to Hanoi from Portland, OR. He commented that he found life in America boring. We can see why he felt that way now. Like any place there’s things to love and hate about Hanoi but it is endlessly fascinating. Especially wandering about at night. It’s like a dream world. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m in a real life Disneyland, it’s so visually stimulating. I hope this blog has captured at least a snippet of that.
After I load up the videos I think I’ll keep this going. Hey… there’s life on Pender Island too!