Lost on Planet Earth – Mars Travel Journal – Vietnam Day Five

Vietnam 2011

Good Morning Vietnam!

Wednesday, 7 December 

Day 5 – Overnight Sleeper Train – Hue

It’s 7 am when I wake up for the final time, twice during the night I woke with motion sickness and ran down the small corridor to the disgusting 1 happy face sleeper train toilet to express my hatred of this life experience.

I climbed out of the single bunk bed I had slept in, and stood on it to watch my partner on the bunk above me sleep for a few minutes thinking to myself how grateful I was for him to be here with me before I woke him to come down and join me on my bunk. I was feeling especially sookie and upset about the whole night and still not feeling well from the allergic reaction/food poisoning the day before.

The other girls slowly rose and woke up, I ate some of the sweet Vietnam bread,  pastries and Pringle’s we had purchased to eat for breakfast, I wasn’t really hungry, the way I was feeling, I thought I should eat something to gain some energy sources for the days events after disembarking.

We were not going to arrive in Hue until 11:30am, I remember wanting to curl up into a ball and just die I felt so horrible.  But, I had to be strong, I had to get through this un-welcomed life experience.  I failed.

Before disembarking our tour guide informed us to get our stuff together and line up in the small corridor to jump off in a 1 to 2 minutes time-frame they give passengers at the station.   I gathered my bags, and lined up behind my partner and waited.   Moments before we were to proceed quickly to disembark, I had this overcoming feeling of heat, sweat, my mind fizzled, my eye sight became blurry…. I fainted.  I don’t remember getting off the sleeper-train.

I woke with several people around me on the station platform, shop sellers trying to sell me tiger balm, whiffs of the smell going up my nose, I needed to breath, I felt like a bucket of water had been poured over my head I was so sweaty.  Our whole tour group had helped in some way to get me off the train, I was very embarrassed about what happened and had the tour guide and my partner escort me to the train station toilets.  I broke down crying in the toilet, getting angry at myself.  This moment in my life was when my stubbornness to prove I am strong and I can look after myself in any situation was the wrong choice, I should have let someone know how terrible I felt with continued updates.

We boarded the bus and checked into our hotel room which was nicer than the Hanoi Hotel, we requested Laundry service ($15US) 257,000 Dong, a large pile of all the cloths my partner and I had worn on the trip so far.

Our tour guide came to meet us for a tour of the Imperial City in Hue, it is a walled fortress and palace in the former capital of Vietnam.  The grounds of the Imperial City are surrounded by a wall 2 kilometers by 2 kilometers, and the walls are surrounded by a moat. The water from the moat was taken from the Huong River (Perfume River) that flows through Hue.  The tour lasted 2 1/2 hours, we fed Koi fish, walked the grounds, visited the Thái Hòa temple, Thế Miếu temple, and the Flagtower.  The tour group appeared very worn out and tired, maybe I wasn’t the only one who had a bad nights sleep on the train.

Back at the hotel I cuddled up into bed in the afternoon for a few hours of napping before getting ready to head out to dinner with the tour group.  Dinner was at an Indian restaurant in Hue’s central dining district.  I had a Chicken Ticka Masal, and my partner had the ‘House Special’ – I quote “Best Curry ever!!!!“, he was very excited by the curry.

After such a huge day, we skipped drinks and returned to the hotel with our bellies full of delicious Indian curry.

Odd Observations:

  • Even though I was sick, I still had a great time on my first day in Hue.
  • We found out that interest rates where 22% and there was no leading by the banks, the banks would only lead to business owners.
  • Laundry service was prompt, quick and cheap.
  • The further we travelled south in Vietnam the more western the stores and services were becoming.