Notes on Trains and Buses in 'Nam

Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
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148
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, March 13, 2011

We booked a berth on the seven o'clock, night train out of Nha Trang, for Saigon. When we arrived at the station I noticed the words Blue Line, written on the sides of the cars, as though they meant something special. When we climbed aboard, they were. Cleaner bedding; lighting that worked and beautiful fakewood paneling awaited us. There was a television and even a phone, should we need to order a pizza or something.
The cabin looked like it would be ours alone. Then moments before departure, a Vietnamese family of four arrived. Two were very small and looked easily cryable. Then just as the train was pulling out of the station two more people arrived. These ones Americans. That made eight in our tiny cabin. It was a mistake of course; when it was all settled, the family left and the Americans stayed. They turned out to be a couple of real good guys and we talked of travels until after ten o'clock. 
The train arrived in Saigon at four in the morning. Ellen and I jumped in a cab and hustled ourselves straight out to the bus station. By five-thirty we were on our way to Can Tho in the Mekong Delta. Three-and-a-half hours later we were there. 

I'd pictured the delta to be real hot and country-bumpkin, like, but I was wrong...I think this might have been the area that Brando set up camp in Apocalypse Now.
         
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