Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bus Ride to Vang Vieng

Day three on our trip and we have to get up early to check out and catch our ride to the bus station. A driver in a tuk-tuk arrived early to pick us up and then drove us through town picking up other people until our tuk-tuk was jammed with people and overloaded with luggage on the roof.

Ten minutes later we are sitting at the minibus station, and there must be 40-50 people milling around with all of their luggage. They pack 11 people into each bus, and wrap all of the luggage onto the roof - once everyone is crammed in off we go. Another 10 minutes and we are out of town and climbing into the mountains. Lots of switchbacks as the road winds higher and higher and your ears begin to pop...

Minibus stopped for a quick bathroom break
View from the minibus
Laos homes along the main road

We stopped for a quick bathroom break about an hour into the ride, as the Australian girls had too much coffee in the morning. At two and a half hours we pull off to the side in a small town and we use the stop to buy some quick sandwiches and use the bathroom.
The scenery is amazing, as is the amount of work that must have been required to cut this road through these mountains. The road hugs the side of the hills and runs up and down from one valley to the next with hairpin turn after hairpin turn. Several times we would have to stop and wait for one of the full size local busses to clear a corner before we could go through.
View from a scenic stop
Another view from the scenic overlook
About 6 hours after we departed Luang Prabang we were dropped off in the very small center of Vang Vieng. It felt good to take a walk and strech our legs...

No comments: