On This Day – Hoi An to Hanoi by bus, 2011

Howdy all. Hope this one find you well! Today I’m looking back to Vietnam and 2011 again. This day, the 24th of March, but in 2011, was a day of travel. I left somewhere in the middle of the day to take my bus to Hanoi, from Hoi An. Hoi An is a lovely little seaside town which sees a lot of tourists. Hanoi is the capital, a very big city which is comparatively a little grey compared to other places in Vietnam.

When I purchased the ticket, I was surprised that it took so long to get to Hanoi I think. It was a departure around lunchtime getting into the Vietnamese capital at around 7am the next day. I didn’t realise that there was a change of bus until the journey started. Then the second bus had flatbeds, which I think I was initially excited about but as you will read from my diary, did not aid my sleep at all.

The trip though was memorable, I met a couple from England in Elke and Steve and I would actually run into them in a museum in Shanghai more than a month later by pure coincidence, and we became friends and I’ve caught up with them on other trips and we would even tour Luxembourg together later in 2011. So anyways, this is from the ol’ diary so I apologise for any disjointedness. I also mention Steve who I met earlier in the trip in Dalat who I had been emailing and even bumped into ever so briefly on this day.


…. Steve says he feels a bit sad each time he leaves a place – me not so much. Not here at least, touristy tourist central.

Let’s be clear about the hotel in be in Hoi An – a nice place to stay, crappy computers, and music next door aside it gets the thumbs up, staff are friendly, not pushy possibly a blessing in disguise. It’s not so central.

Packing is much easier at 10:30 AM than 6:30 AM. Man am I over early morning starts! Watched some news got a call from reception that I had to check out at 11:00 AM Luckily 11:00 AM was OK = every other place has been 12 noon.

Japanese Bridge in Hoi An, the most recognisable landmark in the amazing Old Town.

Shower, packed –  easy! Downstairs cool again today paid in US dollars this is going to be a fine balancing act will probably need to visa or a few things in the future other than airline tickets.

I have booked accommodation in Hanoi and Luang Prabang which is good spend time on the world’s slowest computer how come no computer here was built after the year 2000.

Checked the schedule for Australia Network Sunday – Dogs versus Bombers 10:30 Dees-Swans 3:30 Yahoo! I am staying in on Sunday yabba dabba Doo! Of course Hanoi won’t have the Australia Network, will it? I wait with bated breath to find out!

I have got next door for hamburger and fries for lunch – tasty burger too! So here I am 1:00 PM bus due 1:32 PM long journey ahead!

And survive the day I did! Unexpectedly the bus that arrived was a standard tour bus hot inside for some reason opening the window a fraction changed all that. But there was a delay – a Swedish girl was getting some shoes delivered and they had not arrived yet. Anyways the bus went down to collect more people. On a moped this woman zips up and hands over a pair of pink shoes either the third or fourth pair Hannah has bought in Vietnam.

Turns out we have to change in Hue. The bus took off as the rain started to fall. Through the same and the tunnel it was a reverse replay of the southward journey.

Say midpoint stop to where who gets off another bus but Mr Steve got to say a better goodbye than last time. Thankfully the remaining 60 kilometres to Hue, well never watch where your bus driver is up to in Vietnam you will surely shoot yourself! He passes a bus on the inside on a hairpin bend goes too fast in the rain!

Just thankful to reach Hue in one piece. Then we all have to wait in the rain for the Hanoi bus doesn’t take long thankfully. Getting on they took me ticket and told us to take our shoes off there are beds in columns down the bus and at the back five or six across they’re thin and hard. It would not be a comfortable journey.

Off we went and I got chatting with Gavin, Steven & Elke – three Brits travelling together. Nice people. Half-hour stop for a good feed of beef veggies and rice. Down a cold and wet alley – loud bad karaoke from a nearby building one girl got off the bus here somewhere. As the bus sped into the night we chatted Bernard Cribbins and Doctor Who. Nice!

That was the end of the entry on the 24th. But to conclude the journey, the start of my entry on the 25th for you…

God what an awful night! The only good thing I can say about it is that my bowels held up unassisted! Metal bar protruding into my back and whatever else was in the wrong position turning over was an ordeal comfort was impossible! Nevertheless I did manage to sleep three or four hours at a guess. The Brits are continuing on to Halong Bay straight away – what a ludicrous prospect!

Tried to use the loo didn’t look like it flushed gave up didn’t get back to sleep or maybe I did – all of a sudden it was light! Hanoi’s stop at about 7:00 AM or just before don’t think we stopped during the night after dinner that’s a mammoth and scary effort by our bus driver!

And so I made it safely if wearily to Hanoi, where I expect I checked into my hotel and promptly slept for a few hours! Hope you enjoyed the reminiscing today! Thanks for popping by of course, and May the Journey Never End!


9 thoughts on “On This Day – Hoi An to Hanoi by bus, 2011

  1. Your recent travelogues through Asia all sound like terrible ordeals, so how much fun is there? Whenever I can, I prefer the car to the bus, more flexible to stop where it is interesting and ultimately more comfortable. Thanks for sharing your diary.

  2. I’ve had my fair share of catching long-haul rides, including overnight buses, but I have never seen pseudo-beds like those in your photos! I don’t know about you, but they look even more uncomfortable than just the usual, reclining seats. But thankfully, you made it to Hanoi in one piece, even if somewhat exhausted! Can’t wait to see what more you were up to in Vietnam!

  3. I love reading back diaries from travels! I’m just planning my first trip to SE asia and stories like this get me so excited (and a little nervous lol!)

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