Bus to Vientiane/Pakse

Vientiane Travel Blog

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Sunrise over the mountainous landscape

5am start, thank god the showers were hot showers not cold ones as I remembered Laura saying as I shuffled reluctantly from my warm bed. I heard a motorcyle in the street 3 minutes before pick-up was due and panicked thinking my pick up for ths bus had been and gone, jumping into the first Jimbo passing and undoubtedly getting ripped off again. I swear the taxi drivers quote twice the price first to see if you'll go for it, yet every time I refer pricing back to The Book it seems to confirm that at least some of the drivers have scruples...

 

So to the first leg of my 28 hour journey to Si Phan Don or 4000 Islands. It was not a VIP bus this time, just an air con bus and I was sat next to one local to start with who on seeing a double seat free scurried off to share with her friend,  leaving her tied up bag of stomach juices still in the seat pocket.

I was then joined by another local who no doubt thought the stomach juices were mine, and who didn't know how to put the seat into recline, so was trying to hold his nodding head up from sleep with one arm and his elbow in my ear most of the way down.

 

Fortunately however, I did get my promised window seat and managed to snap some sunrise shots when I was awake. The scenery really was spectacular, though hard to catch because of the roadside plants and the rapid swinging and changes in view caused by the windy road.

 

Back in Vientiane I jumped in a Jimbo to the part of town I knew to grab some decent dinner before heading to the bus station.

Being now on my own I felt the need for something familiar, and treated myself to a western-style chicken pitta with garlic sauce at Sticky Fingers restaurant. I then jumped back in a Jimbo going to the bus station, or what I thought was the bus station out of town written in Lao by the kind travel operator who'd sold me the ticket. I got ripped off again having agreed to $2 for him to drive me 2 streets up to a restaurant (Kop Chai) from where they arrange a Jimbo pick-up to the bus station itself. I fumed a little, especially as I could have eaten here instead, but never mind.

 

It was nice to be around more travelers again and the atmosphere was friendly, especially as there were at least two large groups of people that were familiar with each other and all traveling down to Pakse. At the bus station we were loaded onto a bright pink party-style painted bus, with cerise frou-frou curtains, claiming to be the 'King of Buses'. I was dubious at the campness of this bus (should have been 'Queen of Buses') but inside it was super-comfortable with almost fully reclining seats, leg rests and blankets.
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Sunrise over the mountainous lands…
Sunrise over the mountainous land…
Vientiane
photo by: skydiver