Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Indochina by love bus

Getting from A to B is rather simple:
Most of the guesthouses sell tickets to just about anywhere in the region: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, even a 40+ hour trip by bus to Kunming in China for those hardcore travelers. Tell them you want to go to B and they write you a ticket to B on a random piece of paper. You sometimes wonder how it works since no one checks first whether there are seats available, but it always works. Usually they also arrange pickup from the guesthouse to take you to the bus terminal. Easy. At the bus terminal people shout destinations, you pick yours and miraculously end up on the right bus. And if you arrive there two hours late that is considered on time.

Vientiane is a capital that does not feel like one at all. If it wasn't for all the UN organizations and expats you would not notice this is a capital. I stayed for a night and decided to move on to the south of Laos.
A pick up driver drove me and some other passengers to the southern bus terminal outside of the town. There was no bus. You learn to be patient here. Please don't rush.
When the bus finally pulled up and the luggage was stored away I received the real bus ticket stating that seat 19 was mine. I was expecting a seat, or rather since they sold me a sleeper bus, a fully reclining one was what I hoped for. When I reached the end at the top of the bus I could not believe what I saw. It was more like the honeymoon suite on wheels. But I was not alone. Our foursome consisted of a guy from Laos, Colm from Ireland and his girlfriend Lena from Israel, me being sandwiched between Paddy and Mr. LaoLao. It was a wet and bumpy night. Bumpy since it was the rear end of the bus and the road had many pot holes. Wet since the air condition was leaking. But Colm fashioned a condom from a plastic bag and some tape to keep us safe. At every stop the bag was emptied. We reached Pakse the next morning at 6. On time.

honeymoon suite on the love bus, hello kitty style

Other favorite means of transport include:

The mini bus. Filled to the max.

no need to look out of the passenger window

Bicycles and umbrellas go very well together

school's out somewhere in Laos

Going by boat through a forest on the Mekong.

Mekong forest

Roadtrippin' in Cambodia with Mr. Lucky

Mr. Lucky is driving a lucky passenger
 some more impressions from Laos

Monk in tree, Pakse

Don Det

fishing, Don Det

trees in the river, 4000 Islands

1 comment:

Jana said...

great again:-) have fun!