Now, I’m always one for a good deal and I’ve ridden what I previously believed to be truly miserable buses, boats, vans to get to places I wanted to be and usually after the fact I say something close to ‘eh that wasn’t so bad, I’d do it again.’No. No. Oh no.
First of all, as a cherry on the top of this entire experience which made it difficult for me to laugh about what was happening to us while it was happening, mere minutes before boarding this bus I was puking, still incapable of holding food down but I was determined to leave Laos and also not miss our bus so I boarded silently commanding myself to be done being sick and get it together.
To describe the experience better I have asked Hanna to write in as a guest because for the entire 25 hours we were trapped on this bus I was trying to meditate in order to remain sane and not be sick so I really wasn’t mentally or emotionally capable of truly describing what happened.
There is only one photo that acts as evidence of this but it is heinous selfie of us looking miserable and should never be shared.
A description of the bus we just got off: large red vehicle, neon tube lights inside and out. When we boarded, we were given a plastic sack to put our shoes in and were placed in the back, second level. To get to these seats, you had to hoist yourself up and crawl on this strange spongy platform (Cassie editoralizing: similar to the bottom of a gymnasium floor) and crawl over the five people in our row to your small allotted purgatory.
The chairs were like reclining vinyl air plane chairs, except you could never sit upright because your head would hit the ceiling.
No arm rests. I was dead center, Cassie to my right, next to a Korean girl whose pointy elbows and sweaty leg constantly invaded my small plot. I also had a fever and was incredibly hot, couldn’t stand to touch anyone. It would have been much more comfortable if we were 5’3 80 pound vietnamese people, like the majority on the bus. The few non-vietnamese people were all sat in our section, which was interesting. Were we in the VIP section? or the hell hole? It was hard to tell. The roads were winding and the bus lurched. The drivers music sounded like a bad default ring tone that never ended. Sometimes we pulled over to pee in squat toilets with no toilet paper. It was the strangest experience and all I did was lay on my back nap and think for twenty five hours.”
So that’s how we got to Vietnam. Clearly, high luxury. That’s 40 dollar travel folks. A seat where your head lays inches from your neighbor for 25 hours and you are incapable of sitting up.
Also there was no toilet on the bus.
On a positive note that I couldn’t really appreciate at the time because I was emotionally dead inside, the transition from Laos to Vietnam was the smoothest border entry I’ve ever done with no waiting. Also the Vietnamese border patrol let me use their toilet, which had all the luxuries TP, soap, flusher, so I really vibed with them.