People aren't against you; they are for themselves.
– Author Unknown
Searching for local buses to Vang Vieng, this doesn’t appear to be an option, even after inquiring at the tourist information office on the Southside of town on the adjacent corner of the Bar Garden. After speaking with several of the numerous transportation service companies, the best price I could find was 125,000₭N ($15.61) for the 187km (116 mile) 5-hour journey South on Highway 13. Later, I realized that you could save a mere 20,000₭N ($2.49), which is a small amount by walking to the bus terminal if you follow the road that runs parallel to the Mekong River South, where signs were posted for tickets for 105,000₭N ($13.11) to Vang Vieng. However, by booking in advance you will receive the guarantee of a seat with a specific time as well as being picked up from your guesthouse, which depending on the travel season can alleviate potential headaches and frustrations. Be forewarned, that this is an arduous and rough stretch of paved and dirt roads that has more twists and turns than when Tebow was the Broncos QB. Several travelers refer to the mini shuttles as “puke vans” and even the most veteran of backpackers have found it difficult to keep the contents of their stomach down.
Although I’ve set my alarm for 7:15am with plans to be picked up by 9am, I find myself laying awake just before the annoying sound begins, but I notice there is something wrong. The fan has stopped spinning above me and putting two and two together, I’ve come to the fifth conclusion that the electricity is out again. This also occurred the night before for several hours and reminds me of the constant power outages while living in Nicaragua. Contemplating whether or not I wanted to brave a frigid shower in the dark, as there is a single window in the bedroom that doesn’t provide light to the bathroom, I continue to stay snuggled up under the covers. Yes, snuggled up like a 3-year-old with their woobie at naptime. As the internal struggle and debate continues, miraculously the swooshing of the fan begins and electricity has once again returned. The reason electricity is necessary for a hot shower on a cold morning as today, is because the water is filtered through a junction box that heats the water. Yes, this sounds extremely unsafe, but at least the circuitry is enclosed unlike the suicide showers in Central America with exposed wires that often provided you with the gift of a jolting shock each time you turned the water on or off. After a hot shower and a quick brekkie, I’m picked up just after 9:15am where I climb in the back of a caged pickup truck where there is a younger Chinese couple and two middle-age guys from Australia. I begin chatting up the Aussies–with our common language–and before I know it we’ve picked up the remaining three passengers and have arrived at the bus terminal where we will be transferring to a shuttle bus.