Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mini Bus From Hell

The trip from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng is well known for its crazy bus ride and my experience was no different. The mini bus capacity is said to be 12, but this is definitely pushing it. Because of this I thought I was lucky to be sitting in the front seat, yes, between the driver and another passenger, but still the front seat. I changed my mind quickly five miles down the road when I realized I was sitting on top of a very hot engine, in a bus with no air conditioning in 100 degree heat. Not my best decision.

I received a reprieve from the oven an hour later when traffic came to a stand still. Turns out those landslides everyone had been talking about were real and even bigger than they described. They had a couple machines working, but it took a few hours before we were able to pass. And when I say pass I mean still drive over a massive pile and watch it start to slide again. The driver had to hit the gas to avoid us being covered by it.

Next I realized yet another reason I never should have sat up front. The driver decided that he needed to make up for lost time so he drove like he was playing a race car video game barely missing innumerable vehicles, animals and children along the way. At least the rest of the passengers got quite a kick out of my gasps and sighs.At one point I leaned over to check his speed as we drove through a town at what I thought was was three times reasonable. It said we were going ten kilometers per hour as it said for entire 12 hour trip.

I have no idea how, but we arrived in Vang Vieng alive.

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