We got a sleeper bus at 2:00 PM which only takes us to Hue. For $22 per person we got set up with a decent huge room in Hue but we had to wake up at 5:30 AM this morning to catch a mini-van to the Laos border. People got in and out along the way including a police officer who, fortunately, we did not have to bribe; a fairly common practice since it is apparently illegal to transport tourists in mini-vans.
At mid-day we got dropped of at the Laos border and had to walk across. Our mini-van driver turned around back to Vietnam and we still had the entire country to cross to get to Savannakhet on the western border with Thailand. Since we gave our tickets to the mini-van people we figured that we got “stiffed” the remaining route and were on our own. But, once we got to the immigration office, someone was there to inform us that our bus was waiting on the Laos side of the border. We just had to walk the two kilometers to get there. No big deal, buts its damn hot.
The local bus is not quite as comfortable as the big sleeper. In fact our assess were so damn sore, our legs were sleeping; but, at least we didn’t have to stand up the whole time like the people that got on after us.
We got to Savannakhet, our destination, an hour before sundown and found a nice room at the Leena Guesthouse for only 40,000 Kipp per night. A very nice guest-house considering many of the customers seemed to be paying by the hour.