I woke up before 6 and we decided to head to the bus station early and haggle over the bike in leisure. When we got to the bus station, it was 7:15 and he us was to leave at 8.
The lady selling the tickets wrote our tickets down but didn’t give it to us and said we’d have to talk to the driver about the bike.
The driver was not in a mood to ferry the bikes and charged us 100,000 kip for each bike. There is ridiculous and then her is outrageous. This was over the top and I couldn’t help but laugh in his face. Don’t think that made him happy and he decided to not take us on his bus I reckon, but the time I tried to haggle with a bunch of people in the station, it was 7:45 and the lady told us there was no more seats. It was a Sunday and I could see the bus was full, but it was really poor attitude of them to not give us the tickets though we were there at 7:15.
The trouble for us is that today is the last day for visa and overstaying is a penalty of 10$ a day. The next bus was at noon. A 5 hr bus ride meant we’d get to the immigration as they are closing and we’d be stuck with a 10$ fine. Ah well, can’t be helped, I got tickets for the noon bus and was informed it might leave early because of the crowd.
We rode back into town, this is a 10 km stretch of road I have ridden 11 times. Seems like I spent a full day of touring just going from the town to bus station. Heh.
Once we got into town, we wanted to surprise Melanie and Chris popped over to her house and we met up at the Manikong cafe. We chatted with Mel & Bianca for a bit and then it was time for us to leave. Hopefully no issues at the bus. I was tired of haggling.
We managed to get the bikes on the bus without questions and just as the bus was leaving a lady informed us it would be 50,000 kip per bike. We weren’t going to buy that. I got tickets, bikes on the roof and I have the hand! They relented to 50,000 for 2 bikes and that we agreed on.
This bus is super tiny with absolutely no legroom, I was sitting in a contorted position all of the way and wasn’t the most comfy ride. Ah well, at least we made it to the border in one piece.
The Ride across Maekhong was uneventful as it was going the other way around. Laos levied a 1$ weekend fee and Thailand was easy as. We met a motorbike group and we had a chat with them and rode down to Du Coffee Cup to meet Noom. He was running his cafe and gladly invited us to pitch camp in his yard. Was really pleasant to meet with him again. he had a bunch of his friends over for a Half moon party of sorts and they cooked up a big barbeque.
It was fun hanging out with Noom and his friends, but it was a bit sad that I couldn’t keep up with the conversations given that my Thai is pretty rubbish. It was fun hanging out anyway and a nice place to pitch camp for the night. Noom, Thanks for having us over!
Route: Luang Namtha to Huay Xai (Bus 60,000 kip, bike 25,000 kip)
Distance: 0 km
Ascent: 0 ft
Descent: 0 ft
Time in saddle: 0:00 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 30.71
Comments: Haggling with bus drivers over bikes is getting to be a real chore. I’d rather ride my bike.