Luang Prabang, Laos. 2:08am 16 July 2012
The most dreaded moment in the entire trip is here: We are taking 26 hours bus ride from Hanoi to Luang Prabang (Laos).
Yes. 26 hours bus ride.
We were told that the bus has built in toilet and private bed for sleeping. Obviously, our information was wrong.
5pm: Reach bus station
Our hotel arranged bus to pick up us to main bus station so this part is easy. We were greeted by bus driver, who will be our super-ultra-marathon-bus-driver for the rest of 26 hours.
His face looked tired when we met him so… it’s a bit scary.
The bus only filled with 50% of the seat capacity of most of us have plenty of space to stretch our legs and put our bags on our seats. Using laptop and iPad is no problem.
The bus was playing clubbing songs with naked ladies on the video so the first hour past rather quickly.
Picking up more passengers
The bus stopped in middle of busy street, few people came up the bus. Squeeze seats with existing customers.
“Ha, luckily no more space behind here, no one will take my seat!” I told myself.
Then I tell Shannon to moved up few rows to get better seats, and we also have bigger space.
…. the bus stopped again to pickup more passengers.
What the hell, it was midnight already and there’s still more passengers?
Midnight stop – dinner time!
We skipped dinner, don’t want to have any shit inside our body afraid that we’ll have trouble looking for toilet.
We’re not on an express bus to Luang Prabang, a disturbing fact =\
Die lo this time – the bus will pick up passengers along the way until destination.
The bus still pick up passengers in 4am, can you believe it?
And there this one fella that took over Shannon’s existing seat (the seat beside me)… and take most of my precious space. You see, these seats are designed for locals, and I am at least 30% larger size than anyone elses here so we’re packed like sardines.
Also, he keep talking on phone at 5am where every one else is asleep. People here talk on phone is like scolding neighbour in our Malaysian standard.
CCB. Oi! we need to sleep one you know?!
I couldn’t move for the rest of the trip, until we reached Vietnam border at 8pm. That’s 4 hours of immobility.
Around 9am, after getting through Laos border. The handphone guy found a better seat at front – then he invited 2 more people to replace his 1 seat
WHAT THE FUCK?
Can’t you see there’s a huge King Kong already taking up most of the spaces meh?! Why you both still want to squeeze in?!
6 people sleeping on 5 people’s bed
… where I myself already taken up 1.5 seats due to my size.
One of them keep leaning over to my side cause I was holding an iPod, searching through podcasts.
For a moment, I felt like I have a girlfriend that leans on my shoulder.. except it’s a HE.
I put on earphone, close my eyes and pretend I don’t care.
“No every day we can have such experience”, I smiled, and continue listened to songs.
After countless of stopping (to pick up passengers and parcels) – most of them get off the bus around noon time.
I tasted FREEDOM. I declare all 2 seats beside me – MINE!
Now I finally have my own seat!
I cannot tahan, must take photo because I want to show off my OWN SEAT. No one will take over my seat liao, muahahha!
10 HOURS OF SEAT BY MY OWN!!
It was getting chilly at the border as we are ascending to hilly part of the journey.. where remaining 14 hours we will experience awesome drifts from bus driver.
The most difficult part was over (sharing bed), and the remaining part is rather relaxing and pleasant.
During these 10 hours, I did:
- Lots of power nap (impossible to sleep more than 15 minutes)
- Enjoy the moment and experience
- Enjoy dehydration
- Squeeze my ass for countless times (man it feels really good)
- Finished a book, “The Lean Startup”
- Listened to several episodes of podcasts
- Listened to Dr Deepak Chopra’s again
… overall I think it’s pretty productive.
26 hours bus ride: MISSION COMPLETE
Arriving in Luang Prabang (Laos)
“Are we here? Are we really here?!” asking in disbelief.
We’ve just completed our 26 hours bus ride. #achievement
Found a rather expensive hotel – USD$12 per night (expensive by Laos standard), we don’t care that much cause we need fresh towel for fresh shower and linen bed.
“SHIT – we didn’t change Lao’s currency!”
“Aiyah, don’t care la. US dollar is still usable here”.
We didn’t eat/drink anything during our bus ride – we accidentally fast for whole day. We only had one plate of friend rice during lunch, in middle of nowhere. (Seriously.. we still have no idea!)
Finally, a proper meal
The first thing we look for is Beerlao, Laos’ official beer.
Beer first… food comes second.
Beerlao tasted like… Budwiser. YEAHHHHHHHHHHH <3 syok syok syok
We also get complimentary rice wine from the restaurant, which is located not far from our hotel. It tasted like cough syrup + vodka. Taste pleasant overall but Shannon dislike the taste.
Our (rather) huge meal
Tonight we had 3 dishes and 4 bowls of steamed rice. Also not forgetting 3 bottles of large beer.
Total damage: USD$23. Still rather expensive by Laos standard – tomorrow only we go hunt for more food.
According the Lonely Planet’s guidebook, the food scene here is so-so only.. not many food stalls around. Main diet is vegetable (yeah good news for us!)
Tomorrow we need to look for massage. Focus mainly on ASS part than shoulder.
Where am I?
Luang Prabang, Laos