Some culture today with a whistlestop tour of Hue Citadel, Forbidden city and Pagodas. The forbidden city reminded me a lot of Beijing not surprisingly as China ruled Vietnam for 1000 years! Whilst visiting the Forbidden city we saw monks at prayer and a ceremony involving the releasing of caged sparrows.
Our final call was to a village to the North of the city where they make incense sticks and traditional coolie hats. Then it was back on the bus and out for lunch. We returned back to the hotel with a sharing arrgt worked out for day rooms to allow us all to get changed and freshened up as we move on today, by overnight train to Hanoi/Halong Bay.
I think the overpowering feeling as we travelled towards the train station was one of dread some folks had watched you tube vids and were not looking forward to the night on the sleeper. We debussed outside a busy train station and gathered out luggage into a pile as the guide dealt with the tckets. We were then ushered thru the station to an air conditioned waiting room complete with restful fish tank.
The sleeper carraiges have 10 cabins 9 with 4 bunks and 1 with 2 bunks. We were spread out along the carriage and I was in a cabin with Dominic, the guide and an elderly Vietmanese gentleman who kept Jahn entertained with tales of the war! Jahn provided GnT and Mojitos for those that wanted them purely to help them get to sleep of course! When we got on the train I saw a cardboard with holes in it and assumed it was a cat however at 04:30 all was revealed when the bloody cock crowed! The train arrived in Hanoi 90 minutes late which did not cause anyone any concern!
We got on a minibus and headed for our Hanoi hotel to freshen up, pack a day bag and climb back on the bus.