Wednesday, March 16th (Vang Vieng to Vientiane to Bangkok)

  • Woke up at 8am in preparation of our 9am bus to Vientiane.
  • We packed up our bags, grabbed a final veggie-omelette sandwich, and said goodbye to all of our friends from the past few days before hopping aboard.
  • It is both annoying and relieving to be travelling by bus now rather than motorbike.
  • The freedom and joys of owning a motorbike are unparalleled, but during the breakdowns and long days, so is the stress.  
  • As with anything, it is these lows that make the highs so worth it, but after 3 months, we couldn’t deny that it was nice to have a change of pace.
  • The bus ride went smoothly and we arrived in Vientiane at 1:30pm.
  • We walked to a nearby hostel where we spent the next hour relaxing, recharging our electronics, and researching the overnight train to Bangkok.
  • Something that becomes apparent very quickly in Southeast Asia is the premium charged for convenience.  Travel agencies and hostels are quick to take a cut of any tours, buses, trains, and flights that you book through them.  For that reason, we try to make our own bookings wherever possible to save some cash.  The downside is that it often involves some research.
  • In the case of the overnight train to Bangkok, we each saved $10 USD by doing it ourselves, though stepping into the void of uncertainty is always a bit nerve racking.
  • From the hostel we took a Tuk Tuk to Thanaleng train station, then bought a ticket on the overnight express train to Bangkok.
  • We passed through Customs to “stamp-out” our Laos Visa, then waited for an hour before catching a connecting train to Nong Khai on the Thai side of the border.
  • Here we passed through Thai Immigration and grabbed dinner across the street while we waited another hour for the connecting train to Bangkok.
  • Once on the Bangkok-bound train it was smooth sailing.  
  • The seats were quickly unfolded into beds, and though still not quite big enough for Westerners, we were able to sleep fitfully through the night, arriving in Bangkok at 6am the next morning. 
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