Laos Series No. 4: A Sleepy Party Bus

Finally, after exhausting days of tubing, eating baguettes, and trying to fall asleep when nearby clubs are still blasting music, my hostelmates and I were on a bus to Luang Prabang. Vang Vieng is a famous party place while Luang Prabang is much calmer (or so we thought at that time) and all we were craving for was a smooth bus ride to that place: to enjoy the scenery and perhaps take a nap.

Unfortunately, our ride wasn’t smooth due to a couple of reasons.

One, the road itself wasn’t. It couldn’t have been worse than the road from Vientiane to Vang Vieng because then I was literally jumping with my whole body in the minivan, forgetting about even the slightest possibility of having a sweet (or whatever, a bitter one (?) would have been OK) nap. Therefore, in comparison, the Vang Vieng-Luang Prabang trip was pretty fine, yet the roads still weren’t the greatest, and with all those number 8-like loops there was a lot of swinging (literal; don’t think anything else…) on the bus.

What was, nonetheless, way more distracting than the bumpy road, was what we were sort of forced to watch on the bus TV.

Distracting and a bit disturbing. Because what the driver, I assume, thought we were all wishing for was a weird compilation of videos of people clubbing, that was going on for more than two hours straight. And I must tell you, I watched almost all of it as it was right there in front of me and because, well, at some points I was simply surprised there isn’t any censorship imposed on what buses can show on peaceful trips through breath-taking mountains and valleys.

My camera eye was on here again: I could imagine zooming on the beautiful scenery that everyone could enjoy while looking through the bus windows, and then quickly zooming out back to the bus itself where slightly shockingly open videos where being shown, accompanied, of course, by rather bad music. “You want to party? Oh, I’ll let you have your party here, you tourists!” I could already visualise the driver thinking angrily, with a maniac sort of expression on his face. I don’t know how much truth there is in this paranoid thought of mine but he indeed showed that bizarre 2-hour long video on the bus.

And to whom? To people who were intentionally leaving Vang Vieng, the party capital of Laos (it’s almost official, I think), to escape from intense and almost unbearable party life to find some less alcohol-intense place like Luang Prabang. I mean, if the place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one shouldn’t expect too much of crazy stuff happening there. I mean, maybe some centuries ago…

But the superclubbing video finally ended, I managed to nap a bit, and after approximately 7 hours we stretched our tired legs in Luang Prabang which wasn’t as calm or relaxing as we naively thought it would be. It was simply too much fun which also deserves a blog entry.

I mean, if this story got one, anything seems worthy of a blog post. And I choose to turn the latter sentence into the moral of this story (yes, you could have simply jumped to this part) because I desperately want all my posts to have one.

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