Can I have a bed for 25 000 kip, please?

After an almost 12 hour long bus ride I reach Vientiane, in the dark. I’ve spent the last couple of hours trying not to notice the bus’ risky takeovers, though it’s hard when you have the front seat at the top floor of a double decker. The bus takes a lot of extra stops along the way, it seems like they need to fix something – which wouldn’t surprise me the least – but we get no information (And even if we did, not a single passenger on the bus seems to speak English. The very old Lao man sitting next to me and I keep nodding and smiling to each other throughout the bus ride though. And at one point I think I agree with him that our bums hurt, though I might have agreed on coming to his house and spend the night with him, for all I know).

(Savannakhet: A big room in a guesthouse with a shared bathroom in a little concrete building on the outside (squat toilet of course). I managed to find a way to wash some clothes there (and dry them) and the room even came with a towel!)

And then, suddenly, after quite a few stops where they obviously didn’t manage to fix the problem, I suddenly notice it; the bus has no working front lights, there is a guy hanging out of the side door trying to light up the road with a way too small flash light, and the bus driver keeps on with his now plain dangerous takeovers! Every car passing in the other direction must think there is a small motorbike they’re facing, not a big rattletrap of a bus. The relief is then huge when the bus finally reach is destination. It is definitely not on time, and though Vientiane seems to be closing down for the night, I still manage to find my – up until then – cheapest bed of my travels (but it would not be the last). A bed in a dorm for the extremely small sum of 25 000 Kip = 3.14 Dollars = 2.4 Euros = 18 NOK.

So, this is what you might get for 25 000 Kip around Laos:

(Tad Lo: A nice little room in a two-room bungalow with shared bathroom in a little concrete building outside (a squat toilet again and some kind of “shower”))

(Vientiane: A horribly unfriendly hostel with a big dorm with a total of 18 beds. The two (or three?) toilets where always occupied, and there were no real common areas! I woke up in the morning with the notion that I had to get away)