I have just watched the episode of Great Asian Railway Journeys when the living Opal Fruit Michael Portillo visits the beautiful Vietnamese town of Hoi An.
Nowadays the town is a tourist hotspot, uncomfortably so at times. Indeed Portillo asserts in blazing sunshine that it is akin to Venice in popularity.
When I visited in November 1998 Vietnam was reeling from its worst floods in history. No trains were running and road travel was extremely treacherous.
Our journey from Nha Trang remains the most tortuous and uncomfortable journey I have ever undertaken as we aquaplaned several times, nearly ended up in a ditch, we’re constantly blinded by oncoming lorries and a host more unpleasantries.
We finally made it after 11 hellish hours in the pouring rain and were to find that Hoi An was far far from its best…….