Laos, Buses and Vientiane
Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
82Trip End Sep 01, 2006
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Another update again as we have sped up a bit to get back to Thailand in time for TEFL course and wildlife volunteering, sorry!
So another day another bus and this was another record topper for bad. When booking the bus to Laos (Lao depending on where you look) we decided to pay the extra $5 for the better bus (as it's a 22 hour journey). We were told the other bus is generally only for Vietnamese people, is packed and stops everywhere. So during the day we wandered around Hanoi visiting the Mousoleum and Interneting before getting back to the hotel for the bus. Once at the hotel we collected our laundry (well remembered) and were told 'quick, quick' time to go. We are hurried down the road and round the corner to the tour place where we then sit for an hour. Finally the moto comes and after a 20 minute terrifying drive across Hanoi (at one point we missed an on-coming bus by an inch) we arrive at the bus
So off we go with no leg room, legs either over boxes or twisted around them looking forward to the next 22 hours! Thankfully there were a few hours when Danny and I had three seats to share, but mostly Danny was against the window with his legs over me, I was sitting with my legs over the boxes and luggage, one guy was asleep on my shoulder and two more were next to him. It was all very friendly and soon we were all dozing and dribbling together! Although squashed it was not too bad apart from not having any idea if/where or for how long we would stop, how we were going to get a visa on the border and there were only three songs being played over the speakers over and over (and over) again all night!.
At 4:30am we arrived at the border and slept on the bus till 6 (thank you so much PHGU for the travel pillow)
Still can't complain (unless that's what I'm doing to you) we met people who got on the other tourist bus and they said it crashed, completely crunching the front and they had to sit by the road at 3am for repairs, so maybe it was better on our bus!
So now in Laos sixth country along the way and so far it has been really great. First impressions of Laos and it's capital are how few people there are (6 million total in the size of Britain). The weather is warmer, prices a little lower, is more relaxed, lots of smiling people and really nice food.
Yesterday we met a few people and had a dinner by the dried up Mekong and today walked around the city. We managed to navigate around despite there being no street names and saw 5-6 Wats and monuments. One Wat (Wat Si Saket) was very impressive as it had over 3000 Buddhas inside.
So up to Vang Vieng next for a few days as the journey continues.....
Hope you are all ok, take care,