View from the train…
December 1st, 2009 by Kate

No more horrid overnight buses for us – at least not in Vietnam!  We happily board our (3 hour late) train in Na Trang and headed  eight hours south to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)  -the city formally (and still to most people here!) known as Siagon. 

The country side in Vietnam is really beautiful.  Our ride from Hanoi to Hoi An was mostly along the coastline – and I mean ALONG the coastline.  The scenes from our train window reminded me of the landscapes up around Big Sur and Pepple Beach in California but more tropical.  The land met the sea at a right angle, with massive rock littering the coastline making for crashing waves and beautiful scenery.  Every once and a while you’d catch sight of a strip of white sand beach.  I’m sure if you could get to it you’d think it was the most beautiful beach in the world.

Na Trang to HCMC was right out of a Vienamese country-side postcard… cloud-shrouded purple mountains way off in the distance and water-filled rice fields for as far as the eye could see.  Back when were were in the Bahamas, I decided I wanted to make a box of crayons that would capture all the shades of blue in the water and sky there – here in the south of Vietnam, I could make a whole box of greens.  Every so often there are islands of mango, banana and palm trees with tiny little houses on them.  Farmer with their conical hats dot the fields, as do their water buffalo. 

The only thing breaking breaking up the sea of greens were the jolts of color that caught my eye every so often – shrines and very elaborate family burial plots.  They looked like odd fancy birds – large and bright and much bigger than any of the very modest farmer’s homes.   The time, energy and resources it must take to build one of these burial shrines in immense - and there were thousands of them dotting the fields!

Other travelers that we’ve come across have commented that rural Vietnam looks like China did 15 to 20 years ago.  I hope not, as there is very little beauty left in the China, and I would hate to think of this marvelous place getting lost in the smog.

One Response  
Cricket Bourget writes:
December 3rd, 2009 at 9:19 pm

(Hey good for them! I’m glad they still call it Saigon! I’m not fond of those imposed name changes either–I still say Christown Mall and Squaw Peak.)

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