“If you even bother to look at your watch in Laos (no point really), you should realise that the first half of the journey from Luang Prabang to Vientiane effectively passes through Vang Vieng, the once-infamous backpacker haunt that has cleaned up its image recently. My VIP Bus was not scheduled to stop at Vang Vieng; in fact I specifically asked the people at my hotel from whom I purchased the ticket that I wanted a bus straight to Vientiane. Yet, it is not surprising that we made a stop in Vang Vieng anyway, and this time we were not stationery for an hour, but 3 hours. More and more people came on to the bus (including some good-natured tourists, so it’s not all bad!) and now it was cramped to the rafters!”
Backpacker Lee | 2016
“The scenery throughout the whole drive is incredible. I knew we would be traveling through the mountains but wasn’t expecting it the entire drive. This made me happy, but the winding road didn’t settle well with other passengers hence the motion sickness tablets.
Less than 2 hours into the drive I hear a woman getting sick at her seat. Fortunately she used her sick bag, but the sound was enough to make me queazy. ”
Eclectic Trekker | 2016
“In addition to being one of the windiest roads in the region (in the world?), it was also one of the most beautiful – fully forested mountains gave way to dwarfed valleys, where small villages took hold on mighty rivers that had helped cut a dramatic landscape.
We had the opportunity to become intimate with one of the villages along the way when our minivan blew a clutch and we waited for a replacement. In this village, life proceeded glacially; the poinsetta bushes moved faster than the cows crossing the highway.”
Uncornered Market | 2016
“I laid down on my burgundy leather seat, which was in the prone position, and shoved my feet into the foot cubby. It was a cramped space that made it impossible for me to point my toes upright and I’m only size 9.5. (Notice the awkward, toe-curled position of my foot in the picture above.) The bus was designed so that there were six sleepers on the left upper deck, six on the left lower deck, twelve beds down the starboard side, and twelve more in the middle. On my tray was a warm bottle of water, a styrofoam container of cold fried rice, and a bad snack. But it was the first time that I refused to eat the meal on the bus because my stomach was going round and round. I had made a huge mistake.”
Somewhere or Bust | 2014