A Travellerspoint blog

Death on Wheels?

Evans - I don't even know where to begin. I suppose I'll start two days earlier. After having packed all our stuff together and readied ourselves for the busride to Laos from Viet Nam, we found ourselves waiting on the side of the street in the middle of nowhere. The shuttle, which was supposed to pick us up from the hostel at 5pm, arrived at 5:30pm. Then drove us to the location which I deem the middle of nowhere, and left us there while we waited for the bus to arrive, which took another hour or so. I had put on the most comfortable clothing I could think of for the bus - muscle shirt and shorts - so I was pretty cold since the sun was down and night had come. Eventually the bus arrived, and we all got ready to put our bags underneath in the luggage compartment and get on. Unfortunately, there wasn't any room underneath, it was already full. It appeared that the bus was also shipping bags of gypsum to Laos along with us. So as we all got on, we laid the bags along the isle in the center, leaving absolutely no room for walking or stretching your legs. We were forced to sit at the back of the bus, and right behind us were probably around fifteen bags of rice, so we could put our seats back either. There was also very little room between each row of seats, so my legs were already pressed against the chair infront of me. Which didn't help when the person decided he wanted to put his seat back. After getting all cozy, for the lack of a better term, we started our journey. At first, it wasn't so bad, the bus driver seemed to know what he was doing. As if he actually earned his license like every other person would have, by taking a test. Trust me, that didn't last long at all. There were points when I actually feared for my life. It was pitch black outside, and fog had spread out over the entire landscape around us. I looked out the window and couldn't see farther than a foot or two in front of me. I then had the smart idea of looking down the isle to the front of the bus, where I couldn't even see an inch beyond that. Wipers going full, raining hitting the window, fog erasing everything infront of our view, we sped down the road at a comfortable pace of about 120km. Oh, and did I mention he would wipe the windshield with a cloth on the inside too? Yea, I'm taking a plane if I ever have an "opportunity" like this again, that's for sure. It continued like this for around half the trip, 12 hours, until we reached the border. Beyond that there was no fog, just freezing rain, and still high speeds along the road. Oh, and about the bags of rice I told you about earlier, turns out it was actually sodium hydroxide. A poisonous chemicle you shouldn't be around without a mask, or touch without wearing gloves. Thankfully we were lucky, and found that out "after" helping unload the bags from the bus out the window before our final destination. We then spent one day in Ventiane before taking a bus to Vang Vienge. Don't count on my spelling being correct there. This bus ride was around 4 and a half hours of insanity. And just think, I didn't think it could get worse. I'm not sure about our speed along the road, but it was definitely faster than the posted limited, considerably as well. The weather was good, that was probably our only stroke of luck this time. Everyone says that you should always drive defensively - this was definitely by all means offensive. Our bus was all over the road, going into the opposite lane each time we went around a corner. We were going around, up, and down mountains most of the way, but that didn't change anything. We'd zip around a sharp turn causing the bus to tily beyond what we're normally think would be possible. Sometimes causing other cars to swurve around us, or become the new bumper for the death on wheels we were riding. Every sharp turn caused my eyes to jerk up from the book I was reading and look out the window, only to see a drop down the side of the mountain the would either total the bus, or seriously injure us. I have no idea how, but this driver was even worse than the last one. But, as you can see, we made it to where we are now, maybe not safely, but we're all still in one piece. So, to sum it up, I wouldn't recommend taking a bus from Viet Nam to Laos at any given time. Nor will I ever again. Amen.

Posted by SSH19 05:19

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint