Before coming to Laos I would have described myself as pretty experienced when it comes to bus rides. Not only have I travelled more than 4.500km by bus across Thailand in the past two months, I have also survived bus rides from Berlin to London (16 hours) or Lloret de Mar (24 hours).
However, nothing could have prepared me for Laos. During my first days in Vientiane some guy I shared a room with told me: “Laos has many many beautiful spots, but you need patience and motivation to get there”. I did not take it too seriously but after having ridden quite a few hundred kilometres through this country, I can finally agree with him.
The problem with travelling in Laos is not the countries size. Rating from a map, most places are not that far apart from each other. Its the roads that are the big difference. Imagine Laos as one huge range of mountains. Whereever you want to go you have to go over mountains. This means that the bus is busier with gaining altitude than actually getting closer to our destination. And these roads up the hills are not straight, noooooo. Without exaggerating I would say that on most routes you will have a curve every 5 or 6 seconds. This leads to two things:
1. You cannot sleep as you are too busy with trying to not slide off your seat or bench.
2. A distance of 250km can feel like three times that.
So, whats the reason I am devoting a whole blogpost to this topic now.
I am facing my longest busride tomorrow. 14 hours from Phonsavan to Pakse. 710km. Mountains. Curves. Potholes.
Any encouragement is appreciated. I will let you know how it was, most likely the day after tomorrow as I am arriving far too late tomorrow (if I arrive on time that is).
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