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Laos to Vietnam, A 37 1/2 hour journey!!!

VIETNAM | Saturday, 29 December 2012 | Views [247] | Comments [1]

We originally wanted to take a bus from Luang Prabang to Hanoi but we were told that there were no buses on the day we wanted to go and with only two weeks left of our travels and it being about a 24 hour journey to Vietnam, we were keen to go as soon as possible.  We had already delayed it by a day because I had travelers belly!!! We booked to go to a place called Vinh which was supposed to take 18 hours.
At 17:30 we were picked up by tuk tuk from our Guest House and taken to the bus station where we departed at 18:30. We were on a sleeper bus with seat beds which were awesome. Felt like we were traveling First Class. We met Leah, a girl from England.
We arrived at the Namcan boarder at 05:30 but couldn't cross until they opened at 07:30. We had to walk across the boarder and then get back on to the bus.  They took our bags off once at immigration and we took them inside but they didn't check them and we didn't have to pay to enter either.  Thankfully as the visa had already cost us 480,000 Kip $60
At 15:50 we arrived at Vinh bus station. .. So just a mere 22 1/2 hours!!! Leah, Jodie and I had decided to go to Hoi an once we arrived.  Leah told us that Hanoi was not that warm and we felt it was just another city and we desperate to get back on the coast so I read up in the Lonely Planet book the best way to get there.
We had to catch another sleeper bus to Denang and then change on to a local bus to get to Hoi an. As soon as we got off the bus, the bus driver pointed us to a man and said Hoi an. His quote was 400,000 Dong. I told him it was too much, left my bags with the girls and went on a wander.  I asked at another information desk and they quoted me 300,000 dong... I got it down to 250,000.... Get in!!!!
We went away to get money out and some food. Did some thinking and research into the route. Realised we were going to be left in Denang and our ticket would not connect us on to the local bus to Hoi an. There was no way we were paying more than 230,000 as I read in the Lonely Planet book that it should cost between 16,000 and 18,000 dong.
There is such a language barrier here. We went to eat at a hotel and wanted to order orange juice and ended up with cut up fruit.  Although my bad really as I checked the menu and I had pointed to orange under fruit. Ha ha! 
Also despite how particular they are about taking your shoes off before getting on the bus. The Vietnamese are very dirty.  They are always spitting, they go to the toilet ANYWHERE and one man took earbuds from my bag, cleaned his ears and just chucked it on the floor in the bus!! One toilet stop we made, I was walking to the toilet block.  On the way there were three men taking a piss outside when they were right next to the mens toilets. I carried on to the ladies to be greeted by two women looking up at me while pissing in the squat position and one showing her arse to me squatting facing the wall in what can only be described as open shower cubicles... That was a sight for sore eyes... I had to walk away and have a little word to myself... Well actually I said everything out loud and then walked past them to some sick squat boxes at the end which had doors as you would expect!!
The next toilet stop there was a queue at the ladies and two of them just went at the sides... Dirty bastards... Forgive me I'm not a prune, I pee in the bush but WTF!!
When we got back to the bus station after some food I stopped to ask the bus driver how long the bus would take. Leah saw it was 230,000 dong on the side of the bus so I told the woman at the ticket desk we would only pay 230,00 and we woukd make our own way to Hoi an and she accepted. Robbing bastards just because we are white!!! 
We boarded another sleeping bus, this time we were on top bunk right at the back where there was like a bed for 5 people.  Not so luxurious as the last bus.
We stopped for food along the way. All there was was Pho (noodles) Once we had finished Jodie started flapping her ones about and asked how much it was, she looked at the note and said 100,000... Now for 3 meals that didn't add up so I got up from my seat, walked over to the woman and asked how much they were, I told her it didn't add up and that no one else was paying that much and it wasn't fair.  She said sorry and gave me 20,000 back.... Still I should have asked for more but pretty chuffed at getting some back.
We arrived in Denang at about 6am and I found the local bus to Hoi an.  We got on and the man quoted us 30,000... I said no as it said 18,000 on the side of the bus and I showed him what it said in my book. He wasn't happy but given what we knew... We gave him 20,000 each and that was that!!! Not going to lie, I felt rather smug with my bartering and money saving skills today!
We arrived in Hoi an at about 07:30 and we greeted by men wanting to take us into the town on the back of there scooters (this is Vietnams form of taxi) they quoted us 20,000 to take us to a hotel.  We all jumped on and the men had our backpacks in front of them and off we went.... It was awesome!!
This time Jodie found us a hotel at 250,000 for a room for three. When we arrived I told the women we would pay 110 each... She agreed the price... Another 20,000 saved.... KA CHING!!!  Lesson 3... White people are ALWAYS ripped off... Tell them where to stick it... You will get the price you want!!!
Peace and Love
Zoe xxx

Tags: asia, denang, hoi an, sleeper bus, vietnam



Oh this has just actually cracked me up!!!

  Jodie Jun 14, 2013 12:15 PM

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