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Driving from Finland to Thailand

LAOS | Tuesday, 1 March 2011 | Views [556]

So after reading the preceding post, you may well ask, “What the hell are you doing in Vang Vieng then?”

Fair enough.

I never had any intention of visiting the town, and was in fact planning on heading directly from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. But then I met Jussi, who is involved in a pretty cool adventure.

Jussi and Jani, two young guys from Finland, are driving a bus from Salo to Bangkok, and then on to Indonesia and Australia.

I bumped into Jussi at the Blue Ice Bar in Luang Prabang on Sunday night. Over a few beers, he told me about his adventure. He and his friend Jani, along with Tomas, got ahold of an old touring bus and decided to take it on an extended road trip.

“Do you have anything planned for the next couple of days?” Jussi asked me.

I had to confess that I didn’t. He then asked if I wanted to accompany them on the rest of the Laos leg of their trip, which was to Vang Vieng and then on to Vientiane.

Maybe it was the beer talking, but I readily agreed. Despite my misgivings about Vang Vieng, I thought that it might be at least an interesting place to look at. And it turned out, as I wrote earlier today, that it’s not quite the twatpacker hellhole I was expecting.

There’s a website to keep people informed of their travels. It’s mostly in Finnish, so anyone not au fait with the lingo will need to do a rough translation. They also have a map linked to a GPS tracker on the bus, and they’ve also set up a Facebook page.

The trip from Luang Prabang took a lot longer than it should’ve, but it was an interesting time anyhow. Particularly when we had to take an extended stop for some emergency repairs, and a busload of Westerners was quite a novelty for the kids in the school we were parked near. And the scenery was incredible.

Tags: bus trip, finland, indochina, laos, road trip, southeast asia, thailand

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