Last night my two travel mates and I took the night train from Hanoi to Sapa, located in the northwest of Vietnam near the Chinese border. When we booked tickets, we were told that all of the 'hard sleepers' (the least comfortable and cheapest kinds of beds, the kind we wanted) were taken, and that there were only 'soft sleepers' (the nicer but more expensive kind of beds) left. Because the three of us are so cheap we forwent the beds and opted for 'hard seats' (which are exactly what they sound like - very hard seats). During the day this wouldn't have been much of an issue but since it was a night train, we were expecting the trip to be brutal in the extreme. How wrong we were.
My explanation of the night cannot be done justice through words but it was probably the best night I've had here in Vietnam, and one of the most hilarious nights I've had during my whole trip - and we weren't expecting it at all!
We rang in each hour with a photo:
By the time 6 AM rolled around we were completely delirious. In true Vietnamese style, one of my friends had decided to sleep on the floor under the bench.
An extremely eventful night and roughly 10 hours of travel later we arrived in Sapa. The view from our hotel room is incredible...
We spent the day catching up on our sleep but tomorrow we're off on a two day, one night trek to see rice terraces and ethnic minority villages - can't wait!