The bus trip to Vientanne was a bit of an adventure. We had booked a VIP coach for the 8 hour trip, this was to have air con, toilet and no pick ups on the way, ie direct express!
The reality was somewhat different, as soon as we pulled out it was obvius that the air con didn't work. The bus drove along with the door open, luckily there were windows that could open. Next it stopped all along the way and picked up locals, and their bags of produce, so the conductor started piling rucksacks and produce along the aisles. The toilet was pretty bad when you got to the back after leaping over all the stuff, it had no ventilation and was over 40 degrees, also it had a full size window so you watched the view as you sat on the throne, but they could see you, all a bit surreal.
The first 4-5 hours was all treacherous windy steep roads through massive mountains. Aircon was not a worry by this time as it got quite cold and sealed food bags even puffed right up! There were villages quite frequently which were very close either side of the road, The bus seemed to barely slow going though them and relied on using a piercing horn to get kids, cows, chickens and what ever else off the road. The same technique of using the horn was used on each blind corner as we rounded it, sound the horn and hope that no one is cutting the corner. On the upside the scenary was amazing and it was good to see Laos away from a town or city. The huts were mainly thatch and bamboo and poverty was certainly in evidence. We did see lots of world vision water tanks and pumps so that was great to know that the money is getting through.
love to all
Glenda and Al