Saturday, December 15, 2012

Well, at least the views were nice...

The lore and the guidebooks did not lie when they warned that the road from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng is known to cause motion sickness, and to prepare yourself. I am very, very glad I took anti-nauseants, otherwise I would have, without a doubt, suffered the same fate as seven of the seventeen passengers on board. We were only about an hour into the 6-hour journey when the breakneck speeds around tight, winding mountain roads and being jostled over teeth-jarring potholes, caught up with those aboard the Vomit Comet, resulting in a chorus of people simultaneously throwing up into bags or with their heads out the window. It was quite the soundtrack.

It began with the young girl behind us--her dad shouted something which must have meant 'bag! bag!' and got one just in time for her to throw up into--and then the young boy on the other side of us and his mother, and then the guy behind me, and then another few in the first row. I couldn't believe the chain reaction! It was looking like it was going to turn into a full-on Monty Python-/South Park-/Family Guy-/The Office-esque pukathon. But oddly enough, it was only Lao people who were affected; the five foreigners on board were fine, though I wouldn't have been if I hadn't dosed up.

Before the man behind me lost his breakfast, I offered him a gravol and tried to mime what it was and how it might help. Unfortunately he threw up before it could take effect. I had to tilt my seat forward, past the vertical setting so that he could have access to the window we shared, but even still, he wasn't always successful getting it out the window...

As awful as I felt for those blowing chunks, I also felt bad for the pedestrians and people on motorbikes we were passing whom I suspect may have been impacted by either heads out of windows, or full puke bags being tossed out the windows... And now I understand why the buses at the station were getting such a thorough wash-down...

At one point, when all bags on board had been exhausted, the driver quickly pulled over to a roadside stand and got a new stash of bags which he tossed into the back.

Then, when we stopped for a break about halfway, the people who had been sick had lunch (I can't say I wasn't tempted to do a slow-motion dive across the table screaming 'nooooooooooo!'), only to repeat the process in the second half of the trip. But hey, at least the views were nice...

Rising above the basin of clouds cloaking the valley


  1. Oh my gosh, how horrible!! Yuck!! But you're right, beautiful views.


    1. Totally gross...but totally beautiful pictures!! Keep writing! It is fun to 'travel with you'. :) Christine

  2. hahaha I would have loved to see their faces if you had tried to stop them from eating lunch!