Leaving Laos

So, the plan was to catch a 29hr bus direct from Vang Vieng to Hanoi. Things didn’t go well from the start as we were put on a slow local bus to Vientiane, not what we paid for. Arriving in Vientiane around 7pm we should have transfered to a sleeper bus to Hanoi. The sleeper turned out to be another local bus, we were late and there were no sleeper seats left. The thought of 22 hours without a sleeper seat didn’t really work with us so we decided to stay the night in Vientiane and re-arrange plans. After a few beers and some discussion we realised that a trip to Hanoi would cost us five days out of our trip and leave the rest of our travels rather rushed, so instead we decided to re-plan our intenery and hot foot it straight down to ,Hoi An.

Another day in Vientiane wasn’t so bad, I found a local computer shop and get a replacement hard drive for the laptop and Leah spent a few hours in an internet shop researching the next few weeks. That evening, we set off on a sleeper bus to the Vietnam city of Vinh, which was still not quite the bus we were expecting but better than the first try.

Laos - Vietnam overland border

We were emptied off our bus around 7am. Outside, visibility was about 10 metres due to mist and the temperature was hovering around freezing. It was a surreal moment. Together with hundreds of locals crossing the border we first gain an exit stamp from Laos and then walk around 1km into the mist towards the Vietnam checkpoint. We had already bought visas in Laos so after validating we wait for our bus, carry our bags across the border, until finally we meet up with our bus on the other side. In all, two and a half hours. To any fellow travellers that may read this I’m not going to say it was fun. It was freezing, some of us were soaked through and it took ages, but it was one of those experiences you do really enjoy, just after it’s ended!

After an onward bus to Vinh we book an overnight sleeper to Danang and camp out in a deserted hotel lobby for five hours with a Swiss guy called Stefan who was on holiday from China where he is studying. Strangely the hotel had unprotected superfast wi-fi so we abused it and downloaded over 7GB of films, sorry about that.

Vinh station

So, 48 hours on the road. We’re a bit tired and probably smell a bit. All reports say Hoi An is going to be a relaxing few days.