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bill937ca

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City

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bill937ca

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City land of motor bikes, manual grade crossing and oh, a train.  

 

 

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Claude_Dreyfus

Love the fact they open the barriers when the train is still passing over the crossing!

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katoftw

It is like a moto cross start.  Gates up and bikes go for it.

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chadbag
1 hour ago, Claude_Dreyfus said:

Love the fact they open the barriers when the train is still passing over the crossing!

 

Maybe the lawyer class has not gotten that big yet there.

 

 

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bill937ca

Another angle, same location.

 

 

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cteno4

That’s nothing compared to crossing a street on foot in Hanoi! Like 8 scooters abreast both directions. It’s kind of like being the frog in the old frogger video game as it’s never ending and you just have to wade out into the stream. But terrifying the first time you do it but they just flow around you...

 

jeff 

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bill937ca

Like this?

 

 

 

Another style of crossing gate.

 

 

One more.

 

 

Edited by bill937ca

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cteno4

Yep but in Hanoi it’s even denser with scooters, fewer cars, and much narrower streets with fewer markings and real traffic stops. Ho Chi Minh city is newer and more modern with bigger streets.

 

jeff

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ben_issacs

Folks, 

Well if one wanted to model the Vietnamese railways, one could probably flum up the locos and carriages, but where in the blazes would one get the thousands of motor scooters?

You'd spend much more on the road traffic than on the trains!

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

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chadbag

I think even Boston drivers might be intimidated by that traffic

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Fenway Park

It’s more scary on the pavements/sidewalks when you have mopeds and scooters using these to go against the traffic flow.

 

it took an hour and half to get from the airport to our hotel in Distrct 5 but 17 minutes return journey but this was at 6 a.m. from District 1 and over Tet in Ho Chi Minh. That also included a stop for the level crossing and the Reunification Express!

 

Hanoi was worse with terrible pollution.

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toc36
On 6/13/2019 at 4:00 AM, ben_issacs said:

Well if one wanted to model the Vietnamese railways, one could probably flum up the locos and carriages, but where in the blazes would one get the thousands of motor scooters?

 

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Cat
On 6/13/2019 at 8:59 AM, chadbag said:

I think even Boston drivers might be intimidated by that traffic

Intimidated? 
No.
 
A challenge to rise to?
Oh, yeah!
 
There would be ethnic pride at stake.
: 3

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HankyuDentetsu

I took the Reunification Express (first class) from Hanoi to Da Nang, and then Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh back in 2013. They were the two grimmest journeys of my life - genuine hell on earth from start to finish. Words literally can't describe. 

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cteno4

That’s sad to hear. We took the overnight train in, I think, 2000 from nah Trang to Ho Chi Minh city in second class (4 bunks per cabin) and it was very clean and well run. Nice clean linen and blankets and cabin and bathrooms very clean. It was a pleasant ride.
 

Really enjoyed Vietnam, not a bad bit in like 3 weeks of traveling. People were great all over. Miss sitting at tiny chair and table on the sidewalk with an old lady serving up the best pho I’ve ever had from a tiny bbq on the sidewalk and a dozen plastic containers of ingredients, a true “sidewalk” caffe. Between the French influence for hot fresh croissants or baguette and cheese for breakfast and really fresh Vietnamese food it was a great trip for food. Bumped into a few French tourists that were lamenting how good the breads were compared to home, that said something!

 

jeff

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HankyuDentetsu

Oh don't get me wrong, I had an absolutely unbelievable time in Vietnam; we were there for about 10 days and travelling across the entirety of the country was an utter privilege. What a beautiful place, incredible food, so much to see and do. Loved it.

 

But those train journeys. From Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh there were 6 people crammed into our 4 bed berth, kids screaming and crying through the night, someone tried to take my blanket while I was sleeping, one of the passengers was eating what appeared to be borderline rotting (although presumably cooked??) meat out of a bag, juice dripping everywhere, and he used my friend's blanket to clean his hands. The smell - utterly horrifying. The toilet for the carriage we were in was simply unusable (why bother even aim for the hole in the floor seemed to be the going tactic for most passengers), the food we bought during the journey almost instantly gave us both the only stomach troubles we had on the whole trip. The train arrived SEVEN hours late, had run out of water (as had we, despite being well prepared... ended up having to give a lot of our supply to the kids in our berth)... I've never craved a shower so badly after that second leg. And when you went into the other second and seated class carriages - people passed out, sick on the floor - it still haunts me to this day.

 

A fellow passenger from another berth, upon seeing other tourists, came to say hello nearer the end of the journey. He'd just spent the last 4 months travelling the length and breadth of India, and assured us that this had been by a long margin, the worst train journey of his life. His exact words were - this thing makes long distance trains in India look like Disney Land. Perhaps we just got unlucky that day, but goddamn it was bad!

 

But the rest of the trip - and Vietnam as a whole - unforgettably amazing!

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cteno4

I guess it’s changed a lot in the time that has elapsed since our trip. Sad. Out train trip was very pleasant and none of that. Second class train travel in India we did laterwas more akin to your Vietnam train experience. Sad to hear. Glad to hear the rest of your trip was like ours. I was so surprised at the resilience the people had and how nicely they welcomed Americans after all our involvement there.

 

jeff

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