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This could have been a story about a 36 hour bus ride. I could have recounted how I had to transfer buses twice, once at 2 in the morning where I had to get off my bus in the middle of the jungle in Laos and wait 2 hours for the next one. I would explain how this bus never stopped for food, didn’t stop for bathroom breaks, and then expressed my theory that the driver must be a robot because surely a human being would have to stop to use the toilet during this time. I’d tell you all about the poor quality of roads from Hanoi, Vietnam to the border with Laos and how the quality somehow got even worse once crossing the border. Maybe there would be someone sitting next to me on this bus snoring keeping me from getting any sort of decent sleep. I would tell you all about how the AC would not turn off and I was freezing the entire time. Maybe the bus would even break down for a few hours in the middle of nowhere. I would have titled this post something like ‘Bus From Hell’ or ‘Hell Bus’ or ‘WORST BUS RIDE EVER’. But fortunately these titles exist already, when googling info on the bus ride from Hanoi to Luang Prabang, Laos the search results are littered with titles like this. A clear warning sign.

It was at this point that I decided that trips like this are exactly why air travel was invented, 24-38 hours on a bus, or 1 hour on an airplane. Sold. Instead of recounting a day and a half bus ride from hell the only “tribulation” I have to tell about is that the Popeyes in the international terminal of the Hanoi airport wasn’t open yet and I was really craving some subpar western food. So I was stuck eating pho again, a real tragedy, and using the free airport wifi. Rough life, I know. If I had an address I’d leave it here so everyone could send me sympathy cards. ‘Thinking of you in your time of need, of Popeyes’

Instead I had my hostel book my flight and a taxi to the airport, walked right up to check in, no lines, waited maybe 2 minutes to get through security. I waited for my flight to board in a largely empty airport with Internet quick enough for me to download music. Walked out to the Tarmac and hopped on a bus that took me to my tiny little airplane. I found my seat on the plane, a window seat, with no one else in my row. Graciously accepted the clementines and pastry that were handed out to each passenger. I listened to a single album and filled out my visa on arrival application for Laos before it was announced that we would be preparing for landing. Easy peasy.

Now you might think that this all makes for quite a boring story. And it is definitely a boring story, but I’d take an hour of uneventfulness over 30-something hours of hell any day.

So instead here are some pictures from the day that I would have been stuck on a bus if I had chosen not to fly,

IMG_1990-1.JPGThe lower level of Kuang Si waterfall outside Luang Prabang

IMG_1997-3.JPGKuang Si

IMG_2221-0.JPGView of Luang Prabang from Phousi Hill

IMG_2225-1.JPGSunset from Phousi Hill