Laos to Vietnam (it’s not all fun and games).
To leave Laos from Vang Vieng, we had to catch a bus to Vientiane and then a sleeper bus from there. It was all very confusing but when we reached Vientiane we were excited by the bus we got on, it was so cool with multi-coloured lights and nice beds!
10 minutes later when we were all comfy, we had to get off and onto a new, less comfy bus. We settled down to try to sleep and it was fairly restless. We stopped a few times for toilet breaks and some dire food. During one of the stops I realised my phone was missing and it had fallen down the side of the seat. When I shone a torch down there I also find a huge dead gecko, which was nice. The bus man had to take the seat apart and underneath my foot compartment there were more butterscotch sweets than I have ever seen in my life! As I was tired I didn’t think much of it…
We all went back to sleep again and awoke at the Laos-Vietnam border at 6am. It was pretty grim, I had about 30p left of Laos money so could only get manky banana fritters for breakfast! We couldn’t cross the border until 7am and even then there was extreme confusion.
Having crossed the border we had to walk a kilometre to meet up with our bus again. It was hard with all the luggage and we weren’t sure why we had to walk so far!
I fell asleep again on the bus and woke up when I felt it turning around. We were in Vinh, nowhere near Hanoi and we’d been pulled over by the police. As our driver and his crew didn’t speak English and the Vietnamese police were just plain rude, we couldn’t quite grasp what was going on until they started taking the seats of the bus apart. They found the contraband butterscotch sweets and lots of smuggled fabric softener!
I still don’t really know what happened but the driver wasn’t arrested and they didn’t seem that fussed about it. We were at the police station for 2 hours and it was terrible. An hour after leaving we stopped for food and I had just rice with egg. It was another awful meal!
The bus was supposed to take 24 hours and ended up taking 32. An interesting experience and we were glad to get to Hanoi! I’ll post about the last few similarly “interesting” amass then amazing days at some point in the next week!