I know, I know, I am obsessive about Vietnam bus rides, but I can’t help it when I have traveled so much by bus. But, this one ride was the ride that changed my opinion of travel by bus entirely.
We planned to leave Nha Trang on Sunday afternoon, for one night in Mui Ne, since it’s a good halfway point between Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. This was until we tried to book a bus on Saturday to find it all booked. We had no choice but to stay another night in Nha Trang, which was perfectly alright with us, and take a bus straight to HCMC, which we were not thrilled about. But, the hotel took matters into hand, not only by suggesting a sleeper bus, but also by trying every company around to fit us onto one, as they fill up quite quickly. We managed to get one booked and were prepared to spend about eleven hours on a bus. Although a sleeper bus would be a whole new experience, the hotel assured us that they were new and clean buses, and that it would be the best way to travel. They were right.
At first, we when entering the bus, we weren’t sure we had made the right decision. It was, essentially, a bus with bunkbed-like structures lining the windows and straight down the middle. After removing our shoes, we hopped up to our assigned seat, a vinyl reclining lounger, and settled in for the ride.
Initially, I was convinced that I would not be able to sleep on the journey since this was the same bumpy road we’d previously ventured down and there would be plenty of beeping. I was wrong. As soon as reclined the chair, put on my eye mask, and earplugs (a good replacement for my i-Pod, which was dead), the rocking of the bus swayed me gently to sleep.
While the traveling this way may cost a bit more, 180,000 Dong or eight or nine U.S. Dollars as compared to four or five U.S. Dollars, it was money well spent. It is also what is consider a necessity when traveling any distance over eight hours, otherwise, a regular bus would do.