27 hours seems like a daunting experience, but I think it was one of my favorite things we did in Vietnam (besides awesome sandos). We had our own little “box” and a train worker who liked to check up on us. We actually got meals on the train... which is a good thing because all we brought was a tube of pringles.. we're not really train veterans so we didn't really know what to expect.. but we thought the food was awesome!
note: if you are traveling in East Asia. these meals are NOT provided. you best bring your own cup-o-noodles.
The train experience was amazing because 1. It was relaxing after 2 weeks of non-stop motion and 2. The scenery was breath taking. We did some research and set our alarms so we would awake in the morning to the most gorgeous part of the Vietnam countryside: miles and miles of green rice patties.
We passed people working in the fields, a ton of burial plots just plopped down in the middle of the patties, water buffalo hard at work, some kids covering their ears – waiting for the train to pass, and glimpses of the sea.
I spent most of the day a few cars over where the windows in the hallway opened to let the air in. At one point, I was just staring out the window when the train shook and the door behind me rolled open. After the family figured out I was just looking out the window and not being a creeper outside their door, the mother and her ~2 year old daughter joined me to watch the fields roll by. We stood there together for some time watching the trees and villages roll by.