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July Newsletter
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Highway to Hell – Train trip from Da Nang to Nha Trang Vietnam.

Nha Trang Train Station

We have traveled by planes, trains and automobiles. We have also done bicycles. motorcycles and buses. This week we had to get from Da Nang Vietnam to Nha Trang. We have had good luck with the railway here in Vietnam previously so it was a no brainer. 10 1/2 hour trip in a private 4 berth sleeper car for about $50USD per person. We did not want to spend the kind of time on a Vietnam sleeper bus as that has emerged as our least favorite way to travel.

The beginning of our trip in a private 4 berth cabin.

Last time we were on a train, it was overnight and about 14 hours. We were on the SE1 which is a newer updated train on the Reunification line. It was comfortable and we had a great trip. This trip was on the SE21, an older train that travels the same route just a bit. . . older.

We booked the same private 4 berth room in a car and it was appointed about the same, save the complimentary Kit Kats and wet wipes. The beds were also older but no big deal. The train was supposed to leave at 955am and arrive a bit after 8pm. It was about 20 minutes late leaving the station but no big deal right? It happens on trains.

Train worker trying to ascertain the source of the heat problem.

The issue with this particular trip was that the Air Conditioning in our entire car was not working. The staff knew it and came several times to try and fix it. They came into our room a to adjust the vent 3 times and still nothing. We thought it was hot and maybe we were just being American wimps! But locals started poking their heads out too and began asking me if I was hot? DUH!!!? I was standing in the doorway trying to catch some breeze with no shirt on! I am sure you can imagine how hot it gets in a tin can rolling along the Vietnam countryside in Late April.

It actually got a bit hotter than this!

In a word . . . sizzling! It was like a beer can oven!

Then we were coming to a stop and the beverage cart came by. We asked for beer and she was out so she left and told us she would come right back. A couple minutes later another woman showed up with our beers. But now she wanted more than twice per beer! I told her no way and asked for my proper change. She pretended like she did not speak English and looked confused. I kind of created a scene and drew the attention of another lady who quickly gave me my change and hurried the other on her way. A few minutes later the Original lady who left prior was back with our beers. We realized that while we were at a stop, women had snuck on board trying to sell their own stuff and they were trying to take me for a ride! Good thing I knew the prices and stood my ground or I may have had a nice scam story to share instead.

At this stop and 5 1/2 hours into our trip they finally got the air conditioning fixed and we were able to actually relax for the rest of the trip.

These are the things that just happen while traveling. You just have to roll with it and laugh.

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