I booked this ticket from Vientiane to Vang Vieng at the hostel where I was staying. Apparently the prices are very similar in other places.
There is only a VIP bus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng and minivans. At least that’s what they told me. I don’t like any VIP thing and I asked for a local bus but they couldn’t tell. The minivan offers a comfortable ride, but it is not my favorite means of transport. I prefer the local buses where I can see locals and how they interact. It’s more fun and amusing. On the minivan, the journey is boring with nothing going on. There are only other tourists on board.
The minivan ticket from Vientiane to Vang Vieng costs 60.000 kip. I bought mine for 10 am and at the hostel, they told me to go to the reception 30 minutes earlier and wait there for someone to pick me up. Overall I always get nervous when the situation is like this that I just need to wait. I hate waiting in moments like this and I get stressed if they miss the schedule, things that always happen. When I bought this ticket, I had the strange filling that something was not going to be ok.
I went to the reception 30 minutes earlier and waited, and waited and waited until I get tired of waiting. I asked the reception guy if someone is picking me up and he looked very surprised, just like he didn’t know. It wasn’t from him that I bought the ticket from Vientiane to Vang Vieng the previous day. After some calls, he tells me to keep waiting. The truth is that the scheduled departure time for the minivan was already gone, and finally, someone picked me up 1h later than the scheduled departure time. This is not very usual and for that reason, I believe that I didn’t board on the predicted minivan but on the following one. It was super stressful cause I waited for 1h30 when I was supposed to wait for 30 minutes. I hate moving from side to side.
The journey runs smoothly until we stop for a break. We stop at a place with a restaurant so we can eat something. But the odd happened once we got back to the minivan. There is this tourist that insists that someone messed up his backpack and was accusing the driver to do so. It was a very embarrassing situation because the driver keeps on telling it wasn’t him. True is that nothing was missing. Just things were messed up. It was a big mess and the guy insisted on not shutting up for a long time during the journey.
People kept telling me that Laos is kinda Myanmar. Well, the only thing I find in common is actually how bad the streets are. The street was bad yes. But I never had in Myanmar a trip only with foreigners. In fact, in Laos, I didn’t share any means of transport with locals. I had really low local interaction if it wasn’t for my volunteer experience. Laos is much more made for tourists than Myanmar. Laos has nothing to do in Myanmar, in my point of view. I would say their culture is more alike Vietnamese. In fact, there are a lot of Vietnamese in Laos and usually, Laos people don’t like them. They say that the Vietnamese come here to steal. I wouldn’t be surprised… But I love Vietnamese people.
We arrived from Vientiane to Vang Vieng at about 2 pm. The town is really small so you don’t even need a tuk-tuk or motorbike to take you from the bus station to your hostel. The bus station is very well located and near the city center.