~ An Epic Odyssey in 3 parts ~
Part 2: That's one way to cross a border...
After killing a few hours at the station, we boarded the all-night train and prepared for our trip.
Then we drove off across the happily-named friendship bridge (which links Thailand to Laos over the Mekong river and pictured below).
At this point (starting from the hostel we left in Bangkok) we had ridden in 1 taxi, 1 overnight train, 1 tuk-tuk, and 3 vans for a total of about 15 hours. Unfortunately...there was still quite a ways before we reached our destination of Vang Vieng, a city about 180km north of our current location.
About 10 minutes later he pulled off to the side of the road with literally nothing else around, took out all our stuff, threw it in the back of this other van which had suddenly arrived, and drove off.
After meeting our new driver, and being assured that he was indeed going to take us to Vang Vieng for the price we had already paid, we got in, and began what he hoped to be the last leg of our journey. WRONG AGAIN!
After trying to bargain with us for 30 minutes or so, he finally got really mad, said "fine," drove us a few blocks to yet another van, threw all our stuff in the new ride, and sped off.
And so, we entered our fifth (AND FINAL!) van of the day, confirmed with the driver and our new trip-mates that everyone was indeed heading to Vang Vieng, and headed out!
Make sure to tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion!
Part 3: Voyages in Vang Vieng