Monday, 2 January 2012

Bus journey from Chiang Mai to Laos

Stock up on snacks for the journey.

We managed to barter with a tour company in Chiang Mai and negotiated a price of 870B per person to take us to Vang Vieng in Laos, this also included breakfast. Our route did not require a long boat ride in between endless bus journeys, instead we would travel south, completely missing out the north route that passes through Luang Pra Bang and therefore cutting down on travel time.

Take around 50USD, these will be really useful for border crossings.

We were picked up from the guest house at 6pm and taken to a tour operator where we waited for the mini bus to arrive. We boarded at around 7pm, the bus seemed new and was very clean, although slightly cramped with the 10 people on board.

We took a couple of DVDs to watch that passed the time until we all tried to get some sleep. The seats would recline quite far back but you obviously have to be considerate to the person behind you, the people in front of us seemed to forget this!

We arrived at a restaurant at around 6am, where we had to fill out a visa form for Laos. No one explained when we would leave for the actual border or how we would be getting there and as our mini bus was about to leave we were all a bit confused. There was then another coach arrival at the restaurant and we soon learned that we would board that to the border.

We arrived at the border and were charged 1,500B, we only had 1,300B on us and had to borrow some Baht from Aaron. It actually works out cheaper if you have USD.

We had been given another bus ticket at the restaurant but after going through the border none of us were sure of where we were supposed to wait or for how long. By now it was 10am and the breakfast we had been promised was non existant!

After a half hour wait at the Laos border we were approached by a guy who asked if we had bus tickets and were directed towards a coach. The coach stopped once at a roadside and we were able to get some food at around 12pm. Luckily they accepted Baht, so we were able to buy some food with the change we had leftover.

During the jounrey our coach broke down for about 1 hr. Some tourists got lifts from passing busses, whilst we decided to wait and sit it out as none of us had any money and we didn't really want to pay out for a lift. Luckily the drivers fixed the problem and the now emptier bus made the ride less stuffy and hot.

The broken down bus

We arrived at Vang Vieng bus station at about 2pm and got a free lift in a truck with some other tourists to a guest house called 'Malany Villa'.

No comments:

Post a Comment