Taking the Red Eye from Vientiane to Hanoi

According to Conde Nast Traveler, the longest flight in the world in terms of time in the air is Delta’s Atlanta-Johannesburg flight – clocking in at just under 17 hours.

Not bad, not bad. But that’s still about 12 hours shy of the route emdee13 took to get from Vientiane to Hanoi.

If you guessed emdee13 traveled by bus, you guessed correctly.

Not only did she travel by bus, she called her shot:

I’m about to embark on, judging by what ive read, what can only be described as the bus journey from hell! … I could fly for $110 and get there in an hour…but where’s the fun in that….right?!?! … I’m so stupid! Haha! Wish me luck!

The trip was scheduled for 22 hours, but emdee13 planned for 30+. And sure enough, two days later she was back online posting about the experience:

Well…it wasnt as bad as I was expecting! The bus was unlike any I’d ever seen before- 3 rows and two tiers of beds…so weird! Us foreigners weren’t allowed to board the bus until all of the locals had got on and we were positioned at the back of the bus near the toilet. There were 2 sets of 3 beds which were designated to us so it was all pretty cosy…especially for the 6foot guy who was in between two girls in a 5ft bed. … The scenery in the day was amazing and it was nice to pass through villages that I wouldn’t otherwise see! … We eventually got to Hanoi 28hours after departing Vientiane!

Sounds interesting, and surprisingly more comfortable than what my mind’s eye had conjured up. But don’t be too fooled by emdee13’s description. Search for “sleeper bus” on YouTube and you will quickly discover that this is a mode of travel favored primarily by locals and backpackers – and as you might expect, cost favors much more prominently than comfort in the decision-making process for these groups.

There aren’t a lot of great video reviews of sleeper buses on YouTube – in fact, this was about the best I could find:

Still, not a horrible travel option I suppose. Though a set of ear plugs, noise canceling headphones, ear muffs and a case of congenital deafness would all seem to be requirements if sleep is what you’re after on these “sleeper” buses.

Seriously, what’s up with the music? I suppose it’s designed to drown out the constant honking.

Having said all of that, it still looks to be a more pleasant trip than the Iron Ore Train.

Read the thread in its entirety: Possible Bus From Hell journey…

Image: “a sleeper bus” by Stacey Bogart. CC BY 2.0.

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