That’s what the sign should have said on the front of our bus. Instead it said รถกลางคืน, which I can only assume means night/death bus.
Thanks to a travel agent I have since grown to dislike very much, Zac and I bought bus tickets from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Luang Prabong, Laos. We initially tried to get there by boat but the lovely lady assured us this was impossible. Turns out, when she said impossible she meant easily the best way to get there. Put it down to the language barrier?
So instead of two days of cruising down the Mekong River (with two guest house stays included) we endured five hours on a minibus, followed by 13 hours in a freezing cold, erratically driven minibus averaging 30 km’s an hour (at best) through some of the windiest roads I’ve ever seen.
It was bad. And even slightly too many sleeping pills didn’t really help. At one stage we crossed to the other side of the road, to pass another bus. Our driver soon realised the truck hurtling in the opposite direction took quite a dim view of this sort of road arrogance. Brakes were slammed, heads were bruised and the stuff still sitting on Zac’s seat went flying down a stairwell. I’m fairly confident this would’ve been Zac’s fate too if he hadn’t moved. Also, a bit of the ceiling fell off at one stage.
Unfortunately in my sleep and comfort deprived state, I didn’t take a single photo of the death machine. So you’ll just have to use those imaginations.
We arrived in Luang Prabuang about 6 AM and were greeted by an extremely entrepreneurial guest house owner who knew we’d do anything for a bed.
Oh and I certainly recognize the irony in calling for a more adventurous, less comfortable destination and a couple of days later experiencing this. After a few hours sleep the journey doesn’t really seem so bad, and the destination is looking pretty amazing. More on that later.