The bus left Hanoi at 7.30pm on 19th June. We arrived in Vientiane at 5.30pm on 20th June!! When we left the bus station, everything was fine, we had good seats, could recline our seats and only had one person sitting in front of us so we had good leg room. The minute that we left the bus station, the driver started picking up hitch hikers!! On the back seat there was about 10 Vietnamese people lying on top of each other!!!!
We managed to get a couple of hours sleep before we stopped at about 12.30am for something to eat. We met two English guys who had been dropped off there in the middle of nowhere because they were told their bus didnt go any further and before they could ask what they were supposed to do, the bus drove off! They were pretty panicked, but grateful our bus had come along. There were also others who piled on the bus aswell as lots of packages etc.... From here, I had a lady sitting in front of me whose seat was broken, and every time we went over a bump (which was often!) it bashed my knees!
At 3.30am the bus stopped in a small dark street - the driver got off, checked into a hotel for some sleep and left us all stewing on the bus with no air conditioning or anything! One of the guys went outside for some air, but he said there was a dog growling at him, and because it was pitch black and couldn't see it, he came back on the bus! It finally got far too hot, and most people started getting off when the sun was coming up. We finally left that place at 6.00am, so we were stopped there for 3 hours! Why they dont just leave later, i dont know!
We got on our way, and crossed the border up in the mountains. It was really nice and cool there. We already had our visas we got them the day before, but the English guys didnt have theirs and didnt have enough money to buy them! They had to borrow money from teh driver, and he kept their passports till they went to an ATM when we got to Vientiane!! They weren't having a good journey at all..!!
The rest of the trip wasn't too bad, we were just desparate to get there. We finally arrived and checked into a room with air con, TV hot shower etc because we were so tired, needed some luxuries! There's not a great deal to do in Vientiane so we booked the bus (only 3 hours!!) to Vang Vieng the next day at 1.30pm.