A Travellerspoint blog

The Sleeper Bus

And 24 hours of waiting

sunny 32 °C

I may be too grouchy to write this. I took the sleeper bus, knowing full what to expect from Jen's and my experience in China. I could have insisted that we take the train, but it’s nice to have a break from making unmeaningful decisions for myself, and, the fact that the ticket seller for the train needed to be bribed to admit that there were soft sleepers available was enough incentive to agree to the cheaper bus option.

The bus obviously came from Hanoi, so was already full. I therefore found the only seat left. At the very back. Right next to the toilet.

On top of cursing so severely and offensively every time someone went to wee and seriously pondering whether I should make use of a present I bought for Mike, it was unpleasant. You need at least an extra 15cm in every direction for medium people, the back of the seat never goes down enough; and the air con is either too working or too broken. Last night, I sweated like a pig and I didn’t sleep until just before the scheduled stop at 2am- that kind time when I was just about to thank Buddha for finally making my eyes heavy and bum numb.

Toilets should be banned on buses. I suspect the driver felt the same because at some unholy hour in the morning, we stopped so he could shit outside and next to the bus. Next to my window (hence my knowledge of this).

Anyway, I’m being a tad dramatic and am alive. We arrived in Hue at about 9:30am, were ushered off the bus and told to wait for the next one at 2pm. Awesome.

For those who don't have an idea of what this bus is like, this is what to expect. The latter is what one looks like in the morning. hopefully, for me, not every morning:

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The plus side is some early morning scenery:

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Jens and I did a grumpy whirlwind walking tour around some of Hue, went to the market and ate local food at a café of sorts. Then we waited. Tried some local fruit. Spat it out. Waited. Got taxied to the travel agent. And waited. We’re now on another sleeper bus to Hoi An. Still waiting to get there and I’m pretending not to notice the cockroaches crawling across my window.

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A slightly daring lunch:

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With any luck, Hoi An still exists.

Random thought: I feel absolutely nothing for flying my way through the rest of Vietnam. In fact, I’m going to get taxis in between flights too.

After all my trauma and tolerance informed by lack of sleep and foul toilet smells, the view on the bus trip to Hoi An is breathtaking. If I did it again, I’d skip out Ninh Binh and meander along this highway over a few days instead.

Jens and me waiting:

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The bus to Hoi An:

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Posted by JayneHol 03:52 Archived in Vietnam Tagged bus vietnam backpacking hue ninh_binh trauma

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