I reluctantly left (I say that for almost every place!) Vang Vieng yesterday, at least one climbing day short, never saw any caves, never hired any motorbikes, but I had to head south to get to Cambodia 🙁 I had breakfast at the organic cafe and was reminded of yet more volunteer opportunities I would have liked to have done, then went back to grab my rucksack instead of heading to the motorbike hire shop!?!
Again, I walked past the tuk tuks dropping off people for the tourist cattle ‘VIP’ bus, headed to the songtheaw (will have to check the spelling – basically a shared pickup taxi) beepnig it’s horn…
Within seconds, a friendly groan from the driver after lifting my pack onto the roof (next to the obligatory motorbike..remember this is just an old toyota pickup, with seats in the back and a roof, with loads of folk piled in), and we were off, me on the back, feet hanging out from the seat – the best view in town, natural aircon, and I could get a tan, and help take the rice off the roof at the stops, and wave back to the locals when they see a white face in a pickup that has the most regular ‘VIP’ bus service in Laos.
I had a quick wander around Vientiene this afternoon, and decided I’d have a long lie tomorrow. If I was more alert I would have probably just went direct to Pakse tonight. The journey’s not as bad as I thought – leave 8pm, in around 6am (ish!) so that’s my plan…although as it’s a biggie and much more of a biggie on local buses, I’ll be trying the $15 VIP option, and will probably just buy it from an agent to get picked up.