24 hour bus ride

How to survive a 24 hour bus ride

After a bus journey that lasted 27 hours, on roads that were not exactly easy and in situations that could border on the dramatic, my thoughts continue to not deviate from this Journey of Hope.

It seemed like a journey like many others, it was not the first time that I would have traveled for such a long time but from the South of Laos to the North it is not just a a deal that I do not recommend, but it is also what I consider the worst I have ever done in years of travel
(Note: If from the 4000 islands you want to get to Vang Vieng I suggest you to spend the night in Pakse and leave the next day, the journey is atrocious).
Yet this journey in which I had lost hope believing that I would never arrive again, semi-inspired me. Thinking about it, I thought about what saved me during these 27 hours and helped me not to go crazy in 2 cubic meters.
Below are my six tips for facing a bus trip for 24 hours or more in peace and harmony with yourself and the next one.

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24 hour bus ride

6 Tips for Surviving a 24-Hour Bus Trip

#1 Choose the right place

When booking a bus always ask where you should sit, whenever possible. Especially in Asia it is not always possible to choose the seat but it is better to ask rather than have a random or unhappy seat.
Nello sleeping bus (bus that has beds instead of seats) from the south of Laos to the north I found myself sleeping crowded with 3 other people, while everyone had their own bed.

When I asked the hostess if I could move, I was told that my ticket had a seat with that number and that I could therefore keep it.
I would have honestly paid $2 dollars more if I had known that there was also the “common area” which I later discovered was also freezing, my feet had turned blue.

#2 Bring a jacket and prepare for the polar cold

It doesn’t matter that it’s 30 degrees outside. The buses are freezing and even if you complain to the driver because everyone is literally freezing, your requests will not be listened to.
I got into the habit of traveling not only with leggings and socks but also with a scarf and jacket, I even ended up wearing a coat.
If you are traveling with a sleeping bag, bring it on board and don’t leave it in your backpack, not all buses provide a blanket and this little sausage could save your life!
I understand that VIP BUS means Frozen Bus.

#3 Music and books

The journey is long and could be boring. Load up the music player and put a book in your bag, while waiting to fall asleep they will come in handy and will not make you think about the time that passes, or does not pass. If you have a laptop don’t forget some films, especially on buses in Asia there is the risk of listening to karaoke music for hours and I assure you that after the first few times it is not fun.
Obviously don’t forget the book and the flashlight to put on your headit will come in handy as soon as it gets dark and the lights go out…music videos sometimes unfortunately continue.

#4 Bring food and drinks

I know they are a burden but it is also true that not only will the bus stop a couple of times to let travelers go to the bathroom but it is also true that every time you stop at restaurants the prices are double what you would expect would pay and the quality is not always great.
Furthermore, on really long and night-time routes it may happen that you miss a stop due to sleepiness and don’t get off. At least in this case you have something to eat while waiting for the next stop.

#5 Sleep well and without problems

You are on a bus so sleeping well is perhaps impossible but what if there is noise or the light disturbs you?
It would be a good idea to always wear a mask and earplugs.
Unfortunately, sometimes you would also need a nose plug to avoid smelling certain odors but it hasn’t been invented yet.
From the smell of feet to the smell of fried chicken at 2 in the morning are not pleasant events but at least if you sleep peacefully you don’t think about it and everything goes smoothly.

#6 Admire the landscapes

Although traveling by bus is sometimes heavy and not very comfortable, these continue to be my favorite means of transport.
I can see the landscape pass before my eyes and discover views that I would otherwise have missed if I had flown.
For me, only when traveling by bus do you get the real sensation of movement on the road. You run towards new destinations, glimpsing the next destination kilometer after kilometre.

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