Potential Vietnam Itinerary?
Replies: 22 - Last Post: Nov 30, 2012 3:17 PM Last Post By: bun_cha
Nov 28, 2012 7:13 PM
15Well, I'll be traveling in summer (by the time I return it'll be early July), but I'm not sure that it would be worth 90 minutes both ways to Seoul for a 10 hour layover. I guess I could theoretically spend two or three hours in the city and still get back in time, but without having anything specific that I want to do I don't know that it would be worth it, especially whilst having my luggage on me. I was just using it as an excuse to get out and about since I was going to be there anyway. But based on what you've said about the airport, I'll have plenty to do without even leaving!
Nov 29, 2012 2:15 PM
16True story: I had a stopover -- not a layover, I had to go into the city for a day -- in Seoul on a Laos/SF trip but I forgot to arrange for my baggage to stay with me.
I took the bus into Seoul and had to walk from the bus-stop to my destination, about six blocks away, still dressed for Laos, in shorts, a t-shirt, sandals, and no socks. That was almost exactly 8 years ago today.
So it was November. In Korea. Where it was -3°C.
Long, long walk.
Nov 29, 2012 4:45 PM
Nov 30, 2012 2:57 AM
18I wouldn't take a day off Sapa - four days is good, presumably you are including the overnight trip Ha Noi to Lao Cai as day one?
Overnight trip to Ha Long Bay, three nights for Hoi An, agree with adding a day to Da Lat. Bear in mind June/July will be very hot. Overnight trains are comfortable and a good way to travel.
Nov 30, 2012 6:11 AM
Nov 30, 2012 12:21 PM
Nov 30, 2012 2:43 PM
You can hop on a plane anytime and have a nice, boring flight, but trains - you see a lot, learn a lot and have a whole lot of fun - fair dinkum. The memories are priceless. Half the fun of travel is getting there. It's not the stars, or the moon, the towns or many roads you travel - the journey is the destination.
Nov 30, 2012 3:17 PM
22Yeah, reading these last few posts gave me some good flashbacks to 2005 train Saigon to Danang (Nice photos there, Captain). From my journal:
I'm losing track of time, but I do know who I am and where I am. Some internet problems, also. So I'm writing for several days here - beginning with Saigon. It rained each of the several days we were in Saigon. Sprinkling for 30 minutes or an hour in mid/late afternoon, then raining hard for 30 minutes or an hour, and then steady rainfall for an hour or two. Very nice. Next was written on the train from Saigon to Danang.
Vietnamese lady sharing our 4 bed compartment. She looks like a grandmother and has her 3-4 year old granddaughter with her saying goodbye. Another woman also in the compartment, maybe the lady's sister. They are both crying - I see David hand the other lady a kleenex. The little girl is eating, not crying. Now there is a young woman and a young man in the doorway. On the platform outside the window is a woman wearing a conical Vietnamese hat, standing partly behind a column in the shadows, crying and waving. Periodically, the little girl looks up and sparkles at one of us. The woman on the platform comes to the window and now backs away. I'm wondering who will go and who will stay.
The women and the little girl leave the compartment. The train starts moving. Ahh, the little girl's pink shoes are on the floor of the compartment. I guess they are finding their own space for awhile. Now I'm all teary-eyed too. 15 minutes into the trip the lady comes back into the compartment with the little girl. The lady is crying and girl is eating. Photo: Girl on the train
Being back in VN, so far, gives me joy seeing the strength of these people - tough customers, for sure. Extravagant beauty, land and people. I feel sad for all the suffering of every one of us who was here during the war. The Vietnamese know about suffering. Thao Dam said to me once in his quiet, measured voice, "They suffer silently."
It's late. The little girl is crying inconsolably, sobbing, choking, whimpering. I drift off to sleep.
In the morning ...
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing
fresh from the world
Rice porridge with a little meat and onion for breakfast. Tabasco, I have it! We pass the bottle around. The lady digs the Tabasco. Back in my bunk. The coffee guy comes down the passageway. Cafe sua da - strong and sweet on ice. Could it be any finer than this?
The green of Vietnam, so intense, passing by my window ...
Praise with elation
Praise every morning
God's re-creation of the new day
Tears running down my cheeks. I've been waiting a long time.
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