|Train workers take a break|
I arrived in Ho Chi Min City in the early evening. The plan was to take the train to Hanoi. Years earlier, a traveling companion raved about the wonderful train ride, complete with real linen in the sleeper cars. I was all about sleeper cars so I booked a ticket the moment I arrived. The train departed two hours later so I saw little of city.
I settled back in my bunk, turned on the little light provided and read my pocket book. The train pulled out around 11pm and I was ready for a good sleep. The train stopped a few times during the night, but I was content to wait for sunrise before exploring the rest of the train.
In the morning, I wandered up through the train to see the other cars. The coach section looked quite comfortable, but the restaurant car was rather utilitarian.
|The dining car.|
|Tranquil streets with ancient trees.|
|One of the many lovely little hotels.|
|Silk lanterns in the market.|
The town is fascinating with it’s oil painting worthy views, its narrow streets and tiny building. In the middle of the day, the high overhead sun was too harsh for really good light. However, I found the river harbor had some very interesting from a photographic perspective. Numerous wooden boats were tied up or anchored. Only a few fishermen were at work and I took full advantage of the photo opportunities.
|A fisherman attends to his nets.|
|The streets are aglow with fairy lights from the many shops.|
|Beautiful lanterns light up a shop stall.|
When I parked the bike and walked through the trees to the water, I could see dozens of people walking and exercising on the shore. There were a few sitting down, waiting for the sun to rise. In the water, I could see a few people swimming! Understand that the sun had yet to rise at this point. The locals were certainly taking advantage of the beach.
|Sunrise on Vietnam.|
It was a bit tricky getting the two of us on his motorbike with all my gear, but he balanced my backpack on the front and held on precariously in the back. We made a stop at the local marble quarry and another stop at China Beach.
I arrived at the station too early to board, so I wandered around the neighborhood. I bunch of locals offered me a beer as they relaxed on the sidewalk. The beer was as warm as the welcome I received. I did my best to converse with my new pals, but none of them understood English. As the train departure time drew near, I bid goodbye to my pals and got back to the train.
See more images here.