We are in luang prebang at the moment (which I am loving!) and want to head to vang vieng tomorrow by bus along route 13. I've heard about the attacks from bandits before but am wondering if anybody has travelled it recently? A friend we've met travelling said his sister travelled it about 2 years ago and said it was really unnerving, but nothing happened. She had said that there were gangs along the way at the side of the road but I dont know what to think.
Anybody done it recently have some info for me? I'm a worrier! I'd probably have a heart attack at the thought of anything happen along the way - so any help greatly appreciated.
Thanks a mill
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 18, 2007, at 10:07 PM by clarife ]
We did this route in March on a private minibus. There was no trouble at all on the route, yes there were a few blokes at the side of the road with automatic weapons, but nothing happened apart from a bit of travel sickness (the road is quite windy and up and down!).
All the minibuses drive in a convoy and stick together...when one stops they all stop, it's sort of safety in numbers. I don't think any hijackings have happened for about 5 years on that road. Don't worry, it'll be fine!
i did it last year and it was fine - I don't think they have ever attacked tourists deliberately, so even if there was something going on you would be unlucky to get caught up in it. we saw one man with a weapon but no sign of trouble at all.
It's one of the most stunning drives i have ever been on so just enjoy it!
try and get the front seat in the minibus - it's better for travel sickness and you will get the best view!
I'll admit i haven't done this route recently but in late 2005 and to be honest the only problem with the route is the fact that you may want to throw up at the end of it
On the bus I was on there was a guy on the bus with a gun who was there to protect the bus, we didn't even notice he was there or the gun until he accidently dropped some bullets and I helped him pick them up (before I actually realised that they were!) he was really nice and explained that he was only there as a deterant! I think of it is just gossip or 'urban legends' coz of all the travellers I have met that have gone this route the only thing they mention is the windy sickening roads!
Have fun in Vang Vieng, enjoy the tubing - it's awesome