22 Hours On A Bus, 17 Hours In The Capital

Trip Start Jan 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Youth Inn

Flag of Thailand  , Nong Khai,
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spent the morning packing and posted some postcards back home, along with the Macbook Pro box. Tried to change some Vietnamese Dong into Dollars, but no banks in the whole of Hanoi would do this. No idea why. We get an address of a shady looking place on a buy back street, where an old lady sat at the back of the shop dealing out money. Got a bad rate of 22,200 Dong to $1 but we changed it anyway as we knew it would be worse at the border. In total we lost out on about $5. 

Caught the bus but waited a long time for them to prepare and pack people in the so called sleeper. People were lay on top of each other down the corridor of the bus which had a terrible design, and needless to say the next 22 hours were a strange, blurry, sleepless experience.

We get to the border and happily say our goodbyes to Vietnam. It is a long misty walk down a road that seemed to lead nowhere, but eventually we got to the Laos border office which was in contrast to the Vietnamese military stature. The drive into Laos as we leave the clouds behind reveal awesome landscapes and clear blue skies. It is a long scenic journey, the bus breaks down but we eventually get to Vientiane. The Laos Capital is more like a chilled medium sized town along the banks of the Mekong with Thailand on the other side. We are all in a daze after the journey but managed to find accommodation and feed ourselves. We get a room at Youth Inn for $10. More than we expected but the cheapest in town. We have good views out of our balcony overlooking a temple and another one being built. As we sit and unwind over drinks and dinner, who turns up at our guest house, but Freddy and Maria, who we left in Cambodia! With a lot to catch up on we had a few drinks and go bowling, a very funny experience. Lara won of course! We book our tickets out of town for the next morning. Longing for the countryside, we are heading to Vang Vieng!

24//2/11 32 quid (including 6.50 quid for bus to Vang Vieng)
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