Yet another border crossing to share was our 28 hour journey from Hanoi to Vientiane, the capital of Laos – not for the fainted hearted, as suggested by the Lonely Planet .
Unlike most of our previous expeditions we encountered no scams, just downright rudeness and being treated like third class citizens. The buss was an hour late which is to be expected in Asia, so no surprise there. 15mins after departing the bus terminal we pulled in at the side of the road and a lorry approached loaded with cargo. Our rucksacks were immediately dragged from the undercarage and thrown to the side of the road and replaced with the load. Until we strongly objected, our bags were put on the top of the bus not tied down or covered. For 7 hours until we reached the border, we continually dropped off and collected their payload.
Throughout our 28 hour ordeal we were moved 4–5 times to different parts of the bus, had to sit on this ever changing loot and make no mention of our disgust for fear of being pushed around like many of the more vocal passengers. Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep!
It’s hard to image such a buss journey, but this is a true account. As passengers we were a mere excuse to take a bus across the border while the driver and his 5 collaborators made a shed load of cash transporting these goods, legal or otherwise!
Somewhat amusing now, but a little nervous at the time. Travel would be rather boring if we didn’t have stories like this to tell.