The journey to Laos was a bit epic , and involved over 16 hours of travel by bus. The first stretch of the journey from Bangkok to Vientiane was not so bad, as I rode a VIP bus with somewhat comfy seats, and was able to get a decent amount of sleep. The last leg of the journey from Vientiane to Vang Vieng was the worst part. I was told it was going to take 3 hours but ended up taking a whole lot longer. The bus was really old and they packed it in as if we were sardines , and was with out air con. or fans so it was quite hot at times. Along the way the bus broke down several times.The transmission continued to pop in and out of gear as we climbed the hilly terrain en route to Vang Vieng. This left us parked along side of the road numerous times while one of the guys who rode on the bus banged on something below the bus with a wrench hoping that it would pop back into gear. At one point there was a lot of scrapping , clanking , and crunching below the bus and we had to pull over for a while. Something that resembled a radiator or possibly a part of an air conditioning unit fell out from the under carriage of the bus and we were dragging it along for quite a while. Fortunately the drivers did not seemed very bother by this, and the passengers , despite the long and tiring journey all seemed to remain in very good spirits. Everyone seemed to think that it was all part of the adventure and there was no use in getting frustrated or upset. The drivers knocked around for a bit below the bus with some tools and once again we were off.
Packed bus en route to Vang Vieng
Our trusty mechanic standing upon the piece of the bus
that fell out from the undercarriage
Broken down again
The journey was certainly worth it and Vang Vieng is amazing.I have met some really great people and the natural beauty of the area is breath taking. For the last few days I have been climbing limestone in the mountains, flying off rope swings, relaxing by the river and enjoying good food!!! I will be sure to post something about the climbing soon. But for now here are a few shots from in and around Vang Vieng.
Temple in Vang Vieng
The view from my Bungalow
Mountains around Vang Vieng