We take a taxi to Da Nang, have a quick lunch and then board the train. Another overnight journey, another dirty train! We take the 18 hour ride from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as “Saigon”), leaving at 1:30pm in the afternoon and arriving at around 7am. Fortunately this should be our last Vietnamese train ride! Once in Saigon, we manage to find a bus into the city and walk the rest of the way to the hotel.
Temperature – 21 degreesC
Originally founded as a trading port in the 16th Century (with a history dating way back to 200BC), the city of Hội An is our next stop, around halfway down Vietnam. Home to approximately 120,000 inhabitants it is another recognized World Heritage Site, which is unfortunately inundated with tourists.
Although comfortably warm, it rains for most of the time we are here and some areas have been recently flooded. Kangaroo stays in for the few days we are here as we struggle to find local life being lived, but we still manage to experience some interesting experiences…
We leave Ha Noi to head South down Vietnam’s coast for Hoi An – easy to mix up. A single sleeper train takes us to Da Nang and then a car picks us up to the historic Hoi An.
Temperature – 22 degreesC
Our first stop in Vietnam is Ha Noi – the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city with a population of 6.5 million. 2010 travel guides describe it as one of the world’s “Top Destinations”, but is it?…
After a wonderful stay in Hong Kong, we head back to China to check out Stephen’s aunt’s holiday home near Guangzhou. The journey involved two minibuses and three coaches mixed in with a couple or border checks… But actually it was really easy! Especially with Auntie Irene there to do the talking.
Temperature: 21 degreesC
We disembark the train into the lovely warm weather of Guangzhou, with its population of just under 13 million people and still only the third largest city in China!
Here there is more Cantonese speaking and as importantly, Cantonese cuisine!!