Vietnam by Train

Da Nang (Vietnam), 30.07.2013

After two days in a chic hotel and a big city it was time again to see something else. So this morning at 06:25 I took a train north. The cab driver that drove me to the station was probably the slowest one I’ve ever seen. It took him ages to get to 30km/h after every red light, and we stopped at several ones. But I made it on time to the train, that left Saigon shortly after I boarded. I had booked what was supposedly the most expensive class of seats, a first class berth in a compartment of 4. As I got to my seat there was a mother with her two small children already seated. I admit I’m no fan of trains, to put it mildly. Apart from some high speed trains in Europe the only other trains I took in the last 15 years were a sleeping car in France and a Swedish-donated, pretty rotten train in Bosnia. I find trains dirty, slow, disgusting, and a product of statist run companies that seem to have other priorities then serving their customers well. And this one in Vietnam confirmed my worst expectations, exceeding even the horrors of travelling on Italian state run trains of the eighties that I remember from my childhood. Continue reading “Vietnam by Train”