Saturday, October 18, 2008

Road Less Traveled

It was hard to leave Vietnam, besides it having all our new friends there it was safe and known and we had been having such a good time. To further complicate the issue, we had no idea how we were going to get across the boarder, as the bus we needed to catch had a non-working number and no address listed in the guide book. Being the intrepid travelers we are, Mikaela and I pused onward, catching an overnight train to Vinh armed only with our packs and a list of questions written in Vietnamese, curtosey of the nice girls who worked at the front desk of our hostel. We quickly secured a taxi to the bus station, where we were connected to the man that runs the very busline we need. The friendly woman at the front of the bus station called him over to us after reading our Vietnamese note. Turns out, it was her husband. He spoke amazing English, and verbally walked us through our journey ahead and order us some Pho for breakfast. The bus took off at 6AM, and we were the only foreigners on it. What a trip! I'll spare you the details, but it was hot, dusty, humid, EXTREMELY SMOKEY (no non-smoking laws here...) and lasted for 12 hours. In Vietnam, apperantly, men stop to use the bathroom on the side of the road, and women just don't pee. Some how, we made it through the journey and ended up at Kong Keo Guesthouses in Phonsavan, Laos. The best part of the guesthouse was the owner, Mr. Kong. After checking in and showering off the layers of bus grime, Mr. Kong invited us to join him and another guest at the bar for a beer lao, while they entertained us with conversation until we couldn't stay awake any longer. It was so great to be able to speak to a native Lao who had that level of English mastery. He told some great stories.

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