What is the list of your great train journeys? I haven’t finalised my list but I know one new journey which will be now be near the top. The reunification railway that runs all the way from HCMC to Hanoi has a spectacular section between Danang and Hue where the central highlands drop right down to the sea.
I was stunned by the scenic beauty of this stretch of coastline. I had to take a few pictures through unopenable rather dirty glass but one of the train guards (there seem to be a lot of them on the train, plus attendants, cooks, bed-makers etc. – all very kind and cooperative – BR eat your hat…) found me a window that could be opened.
This railway is real corniche stuff – wonderful engineering and even more wonderful views onto miles and miles of hidden and yet-to-be-discovered sandy beaches – hidden for how long I wonder?
If you have nostalgia for the Orient Express – for comfortable couchettes, for restaurant cars, for obliging attendants, for a touch of mystery then the Ho Chi Minh city to Hue train is the one for you and it’s wonderfully affordable -a distance of five hundred miles for forty US dollars (first class sleeper).
Anyway, after a journey that started at 4.30 pm yesterday and finished at 11.30 am today I’m happily esconced in the back-packer’s hostel and, after a creamy iced coffee, ready to give my legs some exercise and visit that glorious imperial citadel which is one of Hue’s (so laid back after HCMC) high spots.
Here are some pics from that fabulous journey:
And here are a couple of movie clips: