Night buses always seem a good idea at the time. After spending the first three hours sitting in front of a Japanese girl who is throwing up constantly, I begin to regret things (when they went around handing out bags at the start of the ride, I’d vaguely assumed it was a rubbish bag, silly me). Sleep doesn’t come, and when we stumble off a tuk-tuk into the middle of Vientiane at 4.30am, exhaustion levels are high. We find benches by the river, and I douse myself in Deet and fall asleep, ignoring the hovering swarm of mossies and other insecty things. Woken at 6am by Laos women doing vigorous aerobics in the street to energetic dance music. A jogging man stops nearby and follows the aerobics from a distance.
By midday we’re back in Nong Khai, Thailand, with a painless border crossing over the Friendship Bridge. Back to the land of ATMs and driving on the left side of the road.
We find the Mut Mee Guesthouse, and collapse. The next day we utilise the bamboo hammocks, and mostly laze around reading and sleeping. They have enormous rum balls for sale at the counter, and a self service system which is conducive to me eating far too many of them. The guesthouse sits beside the Mekong River, all shady and relaxing, and the man managing the place is vaguely reminiscent of a Kiwi John Malkovich.