Thursday, 21 July 2016

Sleeper Bus From Vietnam To Laos

(Picture by Raniera Rewiri)
As you can imagine there are several ways to cross the boarder from Vietnam into Laos, we chose the bus which although rather daunting at over 24 hours some reports saying it can take up to 48 hours we are sure glad we did.
During our time in Ha Long Bay we met Hannah and Jake it was great to meet another young couple. We met on a boat trip and just instantly clicked, it turned out we were all heading in the same direction so after a few days in Ha Long Bay we travelled to Hanoi for a few days then hit the road to Laos.

Now we booked through our hostel for 950,000 dong which was about £32 which was not bad considering the journey would take well over a day. When we arrived at the bus station we were very lucky as there was only us 4 and 2 other lads waiting for he bus and a few locals. When I say lucky I mean the only way these journeys are comfortable for anyone thats tall is if you get the back seats on this bus it was basically 4 double beds at the back of the bus we all got one each and was comfy as anything well I was anyway. Now the trick in these journeys is sleep literally try and sleep the whole journey which is what I managed to do for most of it anyway.

We got to the boarder at around 4:30am with the boarder not open till 7am we just sat around and waited, the visa process was painless once we had stamped out of Vietnam (we had paid for our 15 day free stamp to be extended to 30 days for £18) there was no issues at all. We walked to the Laos boarder paid for our visa filled all the paper work in and bobs your uncle we were sorted this took about an hour due to the number of people that needed processing through. Then it was back on the bus for the next step of the trip from the boarder to Luang Prabang.

As you can see the journey and process from start to finish was pretty painless. From being picked up at our hostel to being dropped off in the main square in Luang Prabang took about 28 hours with a couple of stops along the way for toilet breaks and food, FYI take snacks and lots of them as when the boardroom kicks in you eat to pass the time.

Make sure you have plenty of devices charged up and a portable charger as there are no chargers on the bus. I am pretty lucky on these journeys as I am travelling with my MacBook Pro I have several movies and TV series to watch mainly the American Office and Harry Potter (my macbook lasts for about 5 hours on one full charge if I'm watching movies) so 5 hours of my time usually flies then I can sleep for the rest of the way and with there being 4 of us we could all have a chat to pass the time.

This was also where we first met Ranz and D, a couple of top lads from New Zealand who we ended up travelling through Laos with and experiencing some amazing things as a group of 6, the waterfalls I have already wrote about Kuang Si, and tubing which is still to come. FYI the picture for this blog was taken by Ranz (thanks man)

To summaries yes the journey is long, yes you can fly quicker but for £32 and the experience you have with the people you meet makes the longer journeys in my opinion a lot more enjoyable than the quick fix of flying, also I'm pretty sure some of the internal flights through Asia have planes with propellers and that shit is just not needed in 2016!!! So get the bus meet new people and enjoy the ride.

  • Ticket for hostel pick up all the way to Luang Prabang                      950,000 dong — £32
  • Tuk Tuk from bus station to Luang Prabang centre                           10,000 kip — £1

Thank you for reading

Richard :)


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