Me and Camila got tickets for a night bus to 4000 islands, region in southern Laos where a Mekong river divides a land into thousands of small islands.
Backpackers adventure to 4000 islands...
We were hoping for a nice rest after backpackers loiter across south-east Asia. We booked seats in the middle of the bus to stretch our horses’ hoofs as we were heading 15 hours trip by two buses and a boat. By the time we got to the station the bus was full. Side window view – unavailable, the whole glass was smashed and smudged by an awful sticky grease.
After an hour of journey the driver flips out and seriously hits the car parked on the wayside. Now imagine how tired I was that I even didn’t woke up when crashing! Just after couple of minutes I finally heard voices of other people and woke up completely surprised nobody was in the bus! Stop over I thought. And went out of the bus to look for Camila. But surprisingly all people were standing outside in the middle of nowhere, in complete dark!
And then I saw the front of the bus… It’s just unbelievable! (see photo below 🙂 )After 4 hours waiting in the middle of night obviously it turned no help was on the way. We couldn’t believe watching the driver going back into a bus and turning the engine on. We had no choice but to go back to the bus and take our seats.When driving he turns into a rally monster, ticking every hole on a gravel road.
Meanwhile the toilet brakes down, which I assume might be very important place for few terrified travelers. Stinks as hell!! For the rest of the journey the driver doesn’t make even one stop. Everyone is really terrified! This time at least we’re not driving with tons of furniture slightly tied to the roof of the bus, on one of the deadliest mountain roads on the way back from the northern Laos.
Our transfer point...
It takes ages to reach our transfer point, where only thing we hear: „today bus finish!”. We try to argue a bit for money return or an extra bus but they don’t listen, blaming us for arriving too late. On the end the travelers get a little angry but the agency owner starts to shout at all of us and we decide to skip this situation. We don’t waste a moment and immediately start to desperately seek another bus company.
After 2 hours we are ready to hit the road! When the boat reaches the island it turns out it’s way out from the place we booked the room. We have to face a long walk in a terrible heat. We are totally exhausted and in the middle of nowhere that we finally decide to call the guesthouse to come and pick us. The price doesn’t matter this time.
After 4 calls and an hour waiting a charming, fatty owner shows up on his motorbike. Most of the residents are a little fatty as they already manage to eat all the tigers, crocodiles and dolphins that used to area called 4000 islands! He gives us the key to the motorbike and says to drive it home. We are flabbergasted by this proposition but there’s nothing more. I desire at the moment than this motorbike. We get on and turn around to wave the owner. He smiles back and suddenly mumbles: “Sorri, Sorri, room no hab for you”! My face changes into a Freddy Krueger one and he shortly agrees we can have their bedroom.
After 28 hours in transit I even enjoy watching the big spider spinning his web while I’m falling asleep. Never loose empathy for people, even in crisis situations… you’ll benefit from it at the end.