Trip Advisor is full of people moaning about the sleeper buses in Vietnam. But when you’ve been thrown about on a broken seat in the Himalayas or taken the nightbus to Pokhara they are the height of luxury.
Our bus was late last night. Two others came and we watched people board with envy as the boys got more and more tired. When it finally arrived we piled on and bagged our place at the back where there are five seat/beds in a row. They were asleep before we had pulled out of Son Trach village and Nick and I settled down for the ride.
Sometime around 1am we were jolted awake by the bus pulling over. There was lots of Vietnamese shouting and frantic activity. Suddenly we could see a fire next to the bus with acrid smoke billowing out. I thought at first the bus had hit something. Some of our fellow passengers piled off the bus and the news filtered back that a motorbike that had been stored in the hold had caught fire.
The boys were still asleep so I stayed with them whilst Nick went to see what was happening. He reported that our backpacks were covered in soot but unscathed. Others hadn’t been as lucky with all their belongings up in smoke.
Another bus from the same company had stopped in front of ours and everyone was told to get off our bus. The staff weren’t communicating but we grabbed our chance and got on the other bus. 2 minutes later it set off. Leaving everyone else at the side of the road. It felt like getting on a lifeboat. We were relieved not to be stranded with two exhausted children. I’d love to know what happened to everyone else.
Our saviour bus had some engine trouble and limped through the night to Hanoi without AC but we were just happy to be alive. The full horror of what may have happened to us without the quick actions of the bus staff do not bare thinking about.
6 thoughts on “Wheels on fire”
People shouldnt take these night buses, they should be avoided, taking children on them is irresponsible!
Yeah Sam & Nick, why on earth hadn’t you hired a chauffeur or booked a sterile package tour. Glad to hear you and the boys are all well, your blog makes great bedtime reading and is giving us very itchy feet. Xxxx
Phew! Glad you are all safe and sound. We should all keep our kids in cotton wool filled boxes with an iPad view of the outside world, until they are 18 😉 Good on you all for feeling, smelling and tasting the real world xxx
[…] mud still soaked into our swimmers, we boarded another sleeper bus, this one bound for Hanoi. The inglorious details of this trip have already been provided, so I shall spare them here. Suffice to say, however, we […]
Sounds scary. Glad all of you and your stuff survived. 🙂
[…] course! Nearly going up in smoke on a night bus in Vietnam led me to question what the hell we were doing. We had put put ourselves in danger and I had many […]