Impression of Vietnam – Day 5, My First Experience of Sleeper Bus

I was exciting with Sleeper Bus that we took from Mui Ne to Hoi An. I never been in a sleeper bus, so I am curious what will it look like. Will it be only a common seat which you can make a bit laying down longer than normally?

One thing that I notice in Vietnam, or maybe in another country as well, but not in Indonesia, that they have their own beer in every city. Such as in Saigon, they have Saigon Beer or Bia Beer. In Hue and Hanoi as well. But in Mui Ne, that’s an exception, as my experience I can’t find beer with brand “Mui Ne or Phan Thiet”. Anyway, I tried the Saigon beer while waiting for our bus to pick us in the hotel.

Drinking a cold drink in very hot day will be so fresh but beer not such really a good options for me, especially it’s too early for a beer. But the price of beer here is so cheap. Plus I have a big curiosity to try anything new. While Panda chose her favorite drink, a banana milkshake, I chose the Saigon. I can say I don’t really like this beer, hahaha. A bit bitter but taste like a water. Anyway, beer is a beer, no need any style or consideration to drink it.

Our bus come!

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And yes, it is really a sleeper seat. A chair that you can make it laid down until very back like a bed. Very comfort. A 360.000 VND for one trip, it doesn’t matter at all, even I thought it’s quite expensive before. I took a seat near window, so I can see the sights while dozing off. A guy that seated next to me is a guy from Sweden with a funny red hair and eyes that always smile, actually, he was always smile toward me. I have no idea whether he was drunk or maybe he was just happy. Hahahaa. He offered me mango that already crumble because pressed by his bag. The bad thing about this sleeper seat, it may be a bit uncomfortable for those who has tall and big body such as western, they need to bend their legs to fit in the seat.

What amazing me because the bus stop for a while and take a Vietnamese guy who want to go with us while his motor also come along with us, and they put it in the bottom luggage place. Crazy!

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The view was changing from Mui Ne, the sea, the sand dunes, the dry places to mountain, house of people, mountain again, lake, bridge, many. I enjoyed the sights while taking some pictures with my digital camera. I was expect that perhaps I will have some cool pictures from it, but what do you expect to get while the bus shaking you all the time and your fingers can stand still and click the shoot. The Sweden guy who was talking with me the whole journey asked why I take so many pictures, “For memories,” I answer simply.

He wanted to stop in Nha Trang and that’s the confusion started. He told me that we will arrive in Nha Trang at 7 pm, but I told him, that the lady who sell the ticket told us that we will arrive in Hoi An at 7 pm. Then, I found out that there was a mistake. Maybe what she mean is that we will stop in Nha Trang first at 7 pm only for transit before go to Hoi An with another bus. Oh NO! That’s mean the whole day journey with bus when I know that actually we will arrive in Hoi An in the next morning at 7 am. This pm and am sometimes can make a huge different while tell in wrong information. Period.

Then we stopped in Nha Trang. As my short view, I didn’t see the beaches at all while we were crossing the town. Not like Mui Ne which you can see directly the sea on your side. Here, I only see a common town with lots of young people gather around in a street cafe eating some meals. I wonder where is the Nha Trang famous sea? Well, because we also already arrived in the dark time, I might missing the sea or maybe they need to reach it with another transportation or the place that we stop not the famous sea area. After said goodbye to the Sweden man who immediately looking for hostels to stay. Me and Panda waited for the next bus in a restaurant while I ordered my noodle for me dinner. Oh well, I can say their fried noodle is not so delicious as I ever tried in Cambodia or Indonesia.

Finally the bus comes and the Bus Office crew, a man with one arm only, guide us to the bus shelter. Not so far from the office. Well, his face really look not so nice. Like a savage guy who has very funny English accent. He spoke to us just like screaming in not understandable English. Actually, it feels like we were going to a prison or something like that while he asked us to gather in one line and he started to calling us name by name and pointing his finger to let us know which bus we should take. My friend Panda made a joke of it and tell to other traveler that behind our line, “Welcome to the Jail, guys!” Hhahaa, yes, this man is so full with high tension and bring me to feel like we were in holocaust era.

Again I chose the seat in the window. Actually they have 3 rows, but I don’t like take the middle one because it makes me feel to falling down since there’s no wall to hold me. In front of us, there’s a couple from Russia, if I can recognize from their language. The tension Vietnamese guy started to asking for our tickets. The male from Russian couple insisted that the bus driver already asked his ticket while he put off his shoes on the door. Yeah, they asked us to put off the shoes and give us the plastic bag to put inside, to make the bus still clean, also it’s not polite to keep wear your shoes while you need to hike other head to reach your own seat.

The tension man still not believe in him and asked him to check his wallet, iPad and bag. The Russian guy started to increase his tone while explaining to him that the bus driver already took it from him. The tension man still force him to find again while he said many times with his funny English that bus driver wasn’t allow to take any passenger tickets. I watched their argument silently, I am admire how the Russian try to explain even I know he start to get mad, but he still remember he is in someone’s country, you need to keep polite if you don’t want something bad happen to you while you are travel. You are not in your home or in your family zone or culture. Vietnamese can be so nice and also dreadful if you remember how they can win the Vietnam War.

The situation finished when finally the Tension Man found the ticket from the bus driver. With his cool reaction, the Russian only told him, “See, I already told you so.” Without intention to prolong the argument or show who was right. Even after the Tension Man left, that Russian guy started to talk with his partner with their language, from his tone, I know that he felt irritated by how the treat of that guy. But good for them, because they speak it with their own language, which maybe none can understand.

I saw around and find out a western girl also watched the argument attentively. When the bus started running, there is also another absurd situation. Because the other bus that stand next to us suddenly in the same time running together with our bus. OMG, almost crashing while the bus driver keep talking. Fortunately he realized it and hold a brake. Me and her just gave a same ridiculous look and almost funny. This bus journey will be very odd, and yet, it was turned that way. Especially when the light turn on to Red and Blue, I feel more like in Discotheque than in a Bus.

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The whole evening, I feel like flying from my seat. The Bus Driver is a young man that don’t know or don’t care whether honking all the time can make us wake up the whole time. He keep honking all the time whether there is only a motor in front or when none. My goodness! Not mention about how he drive that huge bus such as drive the small cars. I feel like moving easily from left to the right. It’s a bit nervous for me too because when I take attention to the surrounding, on my left is a huge stones wall that probably a mountain and on our right, is beautiful city light, which mean a cliff. Yes, we were crossing the mountain with a bus driver who ride like a drunk man.

Thank God when I finally can sleep and wake up, I can see the road already flat again. In fact, there is some rice field on my sight. My body not that tired even a bit sore, but it’s ok. Sleeper bus such a good option to go in long journey. My first experience with the sleeper bus not so bad. I actually wish in Indonesia, they also invent this kind of bus one day, so we can conveniently do a long journey.

Cheers,
Dea

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