Our next day we had a lazy start before we had to leave Mui Ne in a taxi for Binh Than station which was around a half hour journey away. From here we caught our overnight train up to Hoi An.
We had booked the highest class of seating on the train which was a 4 person soft berth but when we initially arrived at our cabin 3 of the 4 beds were already occupied. Nervous that I had made a mistake with our booking or the train had oversubscribed we consulted the carriage guard and it appeared someone was in there who shouldn’t be so they were moved to their correct seat and we were able to claim our beds for the night. The soft berth meant we had a thin mattress on our bunks, a pillow and blanket, a bottle of water per person, a solitary charging point and plenty of storage both under the bed and in the alcove above the door.
At around dinner time a cart was brought through serving chicken and rice which we bought. It tasted ok but was pretty bland- better than nothing though.
When the time came I set an alarm (ours was not the final destination so we needed to be safe) and managed to get a decent sleep considering I was on a train. When the alarm went off the next morning we both woke and waited to reach our station, Da Nang, however it turns out that by this point we were running quite late so we needn’t have been so keen.
Taking the train is certainly not the quickest way to travel through Vietnam, nor is it the cheapest, but in terms of comfort, cost and ease of use it is a great option. We were travelling with the locals and although the toilets were not the most pleasant it was overall an enjoyable experience.
On arrival in Da Nang we caught a taxi to the nearby city of Hoi An to our hotel the Lantana Riverside Boutique. We checked into a cute room and in the price of the room we got a free spa treatment each per night we stayed so we booked these down at the salon. We then walked into the historic centre and wandered through the streets. First stop was for brunch at The Cargo Club which was delicious and then we carried on towards the Japanese Bridge. This was swarming with tourists so we grabbed a quick photo and continued wandering.
The streets of the Old Town are lined with retails stalls so went spent some time looking for a new handbag for me as the one I had with me had broken (I got 2 new ones in the end… oops) and then we decided to make use of the many great tailors in the city and get Fraser a new suit. We found a place in the market that had one that he liked so he got measured up and we were given a time for a fitting the next afternoon.
By this point it was raining heavily so we dashed back to our hotel, made use of the onsite restaurant and got a fairly early night.
Have you ever been on an overnight train? If so where, and what was your experience like?