Monday, 5 January 2009

Journey to Luang Prabang - Of Sliding Buses and Peeing in Bushes

My sis and I arrived in Vientiane on Christmas Day and managed to see all the attractions in one day - Wat Si Saket, Patuxai, Pha That Luang and Talat Sao. By the second day we were totally bored and spent our time snoozing in the guesthouse cause there was nothing to do.

So I was really looking forward to going to Luang Prabang on our third day in Laos.

We had bought our VIP bus tickets to Luang Prabang through the guesthouse where we stayed for 165,000 Kip each. This includes pick-up from the guesthouse to the bus station to catch the 8.00am bus.

If we had gone on our own to the station to buy the tickets, it would cost us only 120,000 Kip each, but then we would have to fork out 3 times tuk-tuk trip to the station. And I tell you, tuk-tuk rides in Vientiane ain’t cheap. So 165,000 Kip is considered reasonable.

I initially wanted to take the night bus to Luang Prabang cause I felt it would be a complete waste of time being stuck for 8-hours on the bus during the day. But there were no night VIP buses from Vientiane to Luang Prabang.

This is the VIP bus that we travelled in to Luang Prabang.

Included in the ticket price is a bottle of mineral water and cake each.

Sorry no pic of the cake cause I ate the cake and then realized I didn’t take a pic of it :-)

Some of the roads were winding and muddy cause it rained the night before.

But the picturesque landscape and mountainous view along the way made up for the long journey.

Along the way we stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants. We could choose either rice with dishes or noodle soup and this is included in the ticket price.

I chose noodle soup and gave the meat in my soup to a stray dog.

Eventhough the bus had a toilet, the driver stopped by the roadside for toilet breaks along the way.

I wish I had a penis.

Those of us who didn’t have a penis or didn’t have anything to release into the wild bought fruits from the roadside stalls.

As I mentioned earlier the roads were muddy and as we were going up a hill, the bus slowed down suddenly it started sliding backwards into a ditch and the back tyre got stuck in the mud.

We all got off the bus and waited by the roadside. Many of us started clicking our cameras the moment we stepped off the bus - for remembrance sake ...

The driver and his assistants tried to get the bus out of the ditch but to no avail.

Then some guys from a passing mini bus stopped and helped us. They tied thick chains to the bus tyre and were successful.

We all clapped as the driver drove the bus out of the ditch.

While everyone was busy looking at the 'rescue mission', some female passengers (me included!) took the opportunity to relieve ourselves in the bushes. That was the first time in my adult life I did such a thing.

Sorry no pics! Hahaha ....

After continuing our journey for what felt like eternity, we finally reached Luang Prabang at about 8.30pm. That's approximately 12-hours on the bus. And they told us it was an 8-hour journey. Imagine the toil it took on my butt.

So if you're planning to go to Luang Prabang by bus, be prepared for incredibly long bus rides, sliding buses and peeing in bushes. Some people might consider it a horrendous experience, but for me these are experiences that adds spice into travel. Definitely makes me want to travel more.


Sree said...

Ha ha ha, quite an adventure indeed
Lucky for you there were no bushman peeping

Julie Lim said...

Mr Sree - I'd like to think there were no bushmen peeping ;-)

Salt N Turmeric said...

No toilet inside the bus Julie? Id be in trouble since Id have to go to the loo every 1-1.5hrs! lol.

Julie Lim said...

Farina - There was a toilet on the bus but I didn't use it cause it stunk like shit and was perpetually occupied.

And just imagine pissing in a moving bus. Your aim must be good and without a penis I didn't want to take the risk, lol !!!

Salt N Turmeric said...

haha. that reminds me of the train ride i took to go for white water rafting in kk. the only 'toilet' they have was a hole on the ground! let me tell you, it was not easy at all since i was wearing 1 piece swimming suit under my pants. dont ask me how i managed to do my business on a moving old train. hahahah.

Julie Lim said...


Hey that's a good topic to blog about - How to piss with a 1-piece swimsuit on. Lol !!!

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