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How sucky is it to travel by bus?

  • grak88

    Joined Travelfish
    24th January, 2012
    Posts: 17

    Hello fellow fish. I am in Don Det right now. Just got here after a long bus journey from Cambodia. Thinking of travelling by bus to Vientiane and Vang Vieng. My question to anyone who has done it is this: HOW BAD IS THE RIDE AND THE ROADS?

    My research online says it sucks. The people I have talked to here say it sucks (especially the part between Vientiane and Vang Vieng. Any other stories?

    I think it's like 12 hours from Four Thousand Islands to Vientiane. I don't know if I should brave it or shell out the dough to just fly from Pakse. The ride from Cambodia was bearable although we broke it up into three days from Siem Reap.

    Is there anything between Four Thousand Island and Vientiane that would make a crappy long bus ride worth it? Thanks in advance.

    #1 Posted: 23/2/2012 - 21:25

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  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1281
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    Plenty to do on the way if you want to do the journey in stages - depends on how much time you have to spare. I'd head up to Pakse one morning and rent motorbikes before lunch - still gives you time to bike out to Tad Lo before sunset and spend a couple nights in that area with the bike (or take on the whole Bolaven Plateau: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/83).

    On return to Pakse, I'd say stay a night there, it is a nice quiet town with some cool spots to eat and drink along the Mekong. Take a morning VIP bus (if you really don't like bus-rides avoid the locals) to Savannahket - which is ok for colonial architecture, but good for a night or two. You can then catch another bus up to Tha Khaek, though I've not been many people go out of the way to see the caves around there. Then you're onto Vientinne. So, plenty of little one or two night stops to break up the journey and get off the path a little bit before you go from partying at 4,000 Islands to partying at Vang Vieng.

    #2 Posted: 23/2/2012 - 21:52


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6954
    Total reviews: 10

    Casey has this one nailed. Break it up, and then the bus rides will only suck a little.

    #3 Posted: 24/2/2012 - 04:39

  • Rasheeed

    Click here to learn more about Rasheeed
    Joined Travelfish
    4th November, 2010
    Location Cambodia
    Posts: 311

    I dunno. Did the night bus 4,000-Pakse-Vientiane and back. Not a terrible trip. Better if you go with someone so you don't have to share a bed with a random. But i went alone and wasn't bad. Slept a lot.

    #4 Posted: 26/2/2012 - 20:18

  • grak88

    Joined Travelfish
    24th January, 2012
    Posts: 17

    Thanks everyone. Think we'll make a stop in Pakse and maybe the caves!

    #5 Posted: 26/2/2012 - 20:33

  • altmtl

    Click here to learn more about altmtl
    Joined Travelfish
    18th May, 2009
    Location Earth
    Posts: 969
    Total reviews: 5

    Khong Lor is a must see. And yes the buses suck. You may want to consider mini vans once in a while.

    #6 Posted: 27/2/2012 - 05:06

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