Phonsavan

Thursday morning Isa and me tried to get the bus from Lak Sao to Phonsavan. The local people said it should stop at about 9 am in Viengthong. So we headed already at 8:30 to the main street, as the bus was supposed to stop not at the normal bus station. After looking for a good place where to stay we waited and realised that there was not much traffic at all in this town. We flagged down some minivans, as we didn’t knew precisely how the bus was looking, but for sure none of them made its way to Phonsavan. At 9:20 the minibus approached and stopped without any problem. Our luggage was stored on the top with the stuff from the other passengers. Then we thought all right let’s go…well but that wasn’t the case. After a few hundred metres the bus stopped again for several minutes and one we drove…it made immediately an uturn and we were a bit unsure where we end up. After collecting a spare wheel, not for the bus, just another piece the bus was supposed to deliver, we finally started at 10…already about one hour later than expected.

For the next two hours we passed only small villages, but still people where getting on and off the bus. Some of them even with a lot of luggage. At noon, just driving up another hill, the bus stopped suddenly. Somehow everyone got out of the bus and after a few minutes it was clear that this bus can’t go further today. I’m not sure what the exactly problem was, either the cooling, as there was a lot of smoke or the turbocharger was broken, as one of the tubes was no longer attached. In the end it doesn’t matter, we waited in total 3 hours until another spare bus came by and everything was reloaded to that one and we continued our drive. Just 30 kilometres further in Thasi we stopped again, now for very late lunch. But this was OK, as we still had 4 hours to go to Phonsavan. The rest of the drive we just enjoyed the mountains and the landscape around us in the evening sun, and after sunset we just hoped to arrive soon in Phonsavan. Eventually at 20 o’clock we made it to the southern bus station. From here into the town centre it’s again 6 kilometres. Hence, we ordered a Tuk Tuk, as it was already late for Laos. And after a chilly ride we finally arrived at our guest house 12 hours after the start of our drive. We both were tired, but as this was our last evening, we decided to go for a last beer.

At one of the intermediate stops, it seemed like we stopped at a Maniok plantation
Isa in the full bus
The landscape was nice
The bus from Lao Sak to Phonsavan
The rear tires are only slicks, and the steel mesh is already visible, so luckily we’re not here in the rainy season
Nevertheless a nice view for three hours in the afternoon
All the way we passed by green mountains
Cloud formation on top of the hills…but (luckily?) no rain since more than one week

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