Today I left the calm, charming city of Luang Prabang to make my way to the capital of Laos, Vientiane. The ride was like all previous bus rides in Laos: twisty-turny, with loads of up and down. Plastic bags were handed out, and again I was glad for Gravol. The difference though was the scenery: I strongly believe that the 200 KM North of Vang Vien makes for the most stunning ride in South East Asia. Charming traditional villages hang off cliff sides, the greens of spring, plum trees in bloom, majestic mountains and limestone cliffs… only photos could attempt to do it justice, and well, the bus doesn’t stop for those.
I did try to snap a few pictures though, but the result wasn’t so great. The window only opened at the bottom, so the perspective was more limited. And of course, because of the road, attempting to take photos felt like trying to take photographs of landscape while crouching in a roller coaster.
After 10 hours of this, we finally arrived at the bus station, 9 KM out of town. It was mayhem trying to get into a share tuk tuk, and unfortunately we were in the last one to leave. This brought us into Vientiane well past 7 PM, with almost all guesthouse fully booked. As a temporary remedy, I am sharing a room with two lovely French girls that I met on the bus today.
I find it pretty funny: as soon as I end up being by myself and traveling, I get right back into my old habits of room sharing. Glad I still have it in me! But tomorrow morning will be spent looking for a room, because I am in Vientiane to work on photos and blog posts. Otherwise it will be just as hard to catch up as it is with Travis around!
PS. Tara and Tyler, if you are reading this, I really hope that you are intending on cycling Laos. While every city is far away and the landscape is challenging, it really is one of the most beautiful places around. I can’t wait to see all of the pictures you’d get by going slowly through it all!