It was a bit of a crazy bus journey from Vietnam into Laos, but we were getting used to not feeling very safe in public transport in South East Asia! The driving is so much worse than South America! BUt we got there in one piece, after the driver picking up and cramming in his friends to make some extra money in the few empty seats. They even put a kitchen chair in the aisle!! We had been told the visa at the border for Lao cost $30 each, so we took $32 each, but it ended up being $37!! So we had to borrow some money from a fellow english traveller, who we later tracked down to give him his money back, with interest. So we were all out of money for the rest of the 8 hour journey, not good for the mood after a sleepless night! But we eventually got to Vientiane, and found a cheap place to stay. We decided to only stay 1 night as there wasn't much going on in the capital 'city'. So we headed to Viang Vang the next day to go tubing. We found a room with an amazing view of the hills surrounding the cute little village, for 2pounds each. The town is really just there for the tubing, which is basically going down the Mekong River in rubber rings, for about 4km, stopping for drinks in bars along the way. We'd been really excited about doing this for ages, and planned to do it the day after we arrived. But what did it do? It rained and thunder stormed for 2 days straight, so we couldn't do it! And we couldn't stay longer as we had things planned back in Thailand, so we had to miss out! We were glad we went to Laos though as it really is a beautiful place, and even the bus journeys were great to see the country's amazing scenery. But we will have to return one day to do our tubing! So it was back to Vientiane to get the bus back to Thailand, which we were assured was 1 bus straight through, for 13 hours overnight. Well, we ended up going in 7 different vehicles, tuktuks, pick up trucks, a mini van, 2 school bus things and a wagon! AND we nearly lost all of our luggage as we were told not to take it off the bus at the border (assuming we were staying on that bus!) but off it went to another random destination! We had to chase it in a tuktuk! We also had spent all of our Laos Kip as we were assured that there were no extra charges to get back into Thailand, but we were presented with a 80p fee to LEAVE Laos, after paying $37 to get in 4 days earlier! Ok so it was only 80p, but it was our luck that they only introduced that fee a few days earlier, and we had nothing on us to pay with! Luckily, the looks on our faces told the fee lady not to even try and stop us, and we got through OK. So it wasn't the most relaxing of journeys, but we did laugh about it a lot once we arrived safely in Chiang Mai. Now we have a cooking course, elephant trekking and a few days in a tribal village planned so plenty to look forward to and put all of that behind us! We loved Laos as a country though, we just don't think lady luck was on our side for those few days!