Crossing the border into Vietnam

We left our hostel in Cambodia at 10:00 am and arrived at our hostel in Vietnam by 9:30 pm. For some reason we thought when they said it would be a 9 hour bus ride that meant we would be arriving by 7:00 pm… 9 hours later, but we had no idea what that journey would entail.

We were first picked up in this van that made stops along the way, picking and dropping off others. We finally made it to the boarder of Cambodia where we were dropped off and then picked up by another man in a van. He brought us to the Vietnam boarder and got our passports through the International Boarder Gate. 

After showing our Vietnam visas and filling out a piece of paper saying that we weren’t sick, we were brought to a bus station where we were told to wait for about two hours for a big bus to bring us to Ho Chi Minh. We found a bunch of tables on the back side of the station where all of the buses would pull into. We sat down and were offered either noodles or rice with chicken. We ordered some food and then grabbed a lot of snacks from a tiny convenience store in the same area. Our bus finally arrived and we only knew it was ours because our waitress told us to pay now and go on the bus. 

This bus was a double decker sleeping bus! We were so excited when we got on because we’ve never been in something so comfortable. 

It was about three hours in when I started to have to pee… No toilet on this bus. As we rode over bumps, passed by huge trucks, were inches away from motorbikes, and our driver was honking the horn like his breaks were tied to it, I was getting pretty restless. At one point we made a stop, but we couldn’t leave the bus. These vendors came onto the bus offering us food that we had no idea what anything was. Adam bought some stale bread and what he later found out was packaged bile… 

A couple hours later we turned down this road and started heading towards the water.

All of a sudden we were heading onto a ferry! At this point we’ve already technically passed Ho Chi Minh, but there is no road that gets there conveniently so we had to go out of our way just to make it there. Once again, no bathroom on these ferries and it just took us across the river.

It wasn’t until about 7:00 pm that we finally reached a stop that had food and bathrooms! We got out for about 20 minutes and were back on the bus for the final stretch.

The inside and outside of the bus was lined with these crazy lights. At times they’d turn off the inside one so we could sleep, if you could sleep with all of the honking and sparatic driving. 

We then arrived at a huge bus stop that we eventually realized was ours too when we saw everyone getting off. Immediately taxi drivers came over to us and asked where we needed to go. We told one we were staying at The Hangout Hostel and we were off. (Make sure to tell the taxi drivers you want the meter on.)

We arrived at our hostel by 9:30 pm, checked in, and then got kicked out because we were trying to work on our computers in the closed bar. So now we’re at this coffee shop nearby, called Highlands Coffee, drinking really strong iced coffees and doing some work! 

We have a full day in Ho Chi Minh tomorrow so check back in for another post! 

~ M + H


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