Well, after my awesome first train in SE Asia in 2015/2016, I had a bit of a dud adventure.
I missed the last seat on the daytime train between Nga Trang and Datang by about half an hour and the other option was an overnight. Leaving at eight pm and arriving at six am. Better than a three or four am arrival, but there weren’t any soft sleeper berths left, and I got the very last soft seat! Meaning I would have to sit almost upright most of the night, but did have a soft instead of wooden seat, and I had Air Conditioning. Still, after about three hours I did find my butt was pretty numb! I had the window seat, and my sleeping seatmates weren’t budging and the seat in front of them was as reclined as you can get, so I was stuck sitting there.
The good thing is it was facing the right way! I was looking in the direction of travel. In the morning, it was an amazing sunrise, and beautiful Vietnam rice fields with the sun rising over them. Gorgeous. And there weren’t smoking conductors at either end of the car between trains.
The bad thing(S!!!) were there was no food served, it was rickety and rocky and, and there were fleas!!! Not sure where they were coming from. Because it was night, it had rained, and I was waiting outside for about half an hour before departure, I had sprayed myself with my trusty Off! That I carry everywhere. But upon sitting in my seat for less than two minutes, I felt I was getting bitten alive. Knew it wasn’t mosquitoes by the repeated location and lack of buzzing. I have some crazy sensitivity to flea bites and they swell massively on me for some reason. So, I suspected it was fleas right away. And, sure enough, about an hour into the journey I caught one on my shoulder and it was confirmed. It was going to be a long night! The fellow next to me snored like a buzz saw and his daughter (about 8 years old) across the aisle also snored. I actually thought she was a machine for noise because it was quiet and rhythmic and constant. As an aside, it was only quiet to me because she was three seats and an aisle away from me. I was trying to figure out what was making that mechanical sound, and looked to see who had some sleep app playing on their phone and forgot to plug their headphones in. Nope, it was this little cutie with pigtails and beautiful big brown eyes.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much and have now legs full of flea bite welts. But I had some good laughs about it. Yuck! Fleas. Gross! Third world problems! Ah well, gotta laugh at the fun adventures! It’s what makes travel interesting and exciting!
Now to decide if I should bail on my overnight tickets from Danang to Hanoi and find a flight….. #horror #overnighttrain #uncomfortable #snoring #fleas!