Tam Coc and onto Hue, Vietnam

We check out, rent a motorbike and ride out to Tam Coc. After parking and buying our tickets we are ushered onto a boat. We’re surprised by the amount of people here; it’s busy and touristy, mainly with Asian tourists. After a few minutes of rowing the crowds thin a bit and we get to some nicer scenery. We go through a few caves which are impressive. The rice paddies and the shrines scattered in them are a strange and beautiful backdrop to the region. We enjoy the trip, but we get the customary attempts for more money when we get off. It’s a shame this is so common in Vietnam, it easily leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

We head back to the guesthouse but decide not to spend anymore time riding on the bike. My license is not valid here (no foreign licenses are) and I do not fancy a run in with the police. If they try to extort money from me like everyone else here then I’ll be broke!

We spend the afternoon walking and sitting in strange places, trying to pass the time until 21:00, when we will catch the overnight bus to Hue. Many people complain about this bus, but our guesthouse owner has been spot on with everything else, and he says this bus is comfortable, so we’ve got to trust him. We’d love to have taken the train, but the only overnight train doesn’t have sleeper berths. This seems bizarre to me, and although the Vietnem Railways website suggests that the train does have sleeper berths, the guesthouse owner and the the railway staff says it doesn’t.

We try to take a look around the railway station, but get shown the exit. We also have a drink at a cafe which looks strangely like a brothel, but Vietnam cafe.

Eventually 21:00 comes, and the guesthouse guy personally shows us to the bus. Excellent service. The bus is exactly as it looks in the picture, a first on my travels. It is clean and comfortable.

Well, fairly comfortable, We choose two beds at the back, which don’t go completely flat. I have a bit of a lump in my bed, which doesn’t put me off too much. Our beds are inclined as we are so close to the engine cover. Ear plugs come to the rescue again.

I get a pretty good nights sleep, but Abs doesn’t. In the morning we are woken to the sounds of Boney M.

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