How it works:
- Version 1: this generally happens with bus with very cheap tickets. Halfway, your bus breaks down and you will be guided to a hotel where the operator gets a cut.
- Version 2: You sign up for an expensive VIP bus but to get to the bus, you need to take a tuk-tuk. Along the way, the tuk-tuk driver tells you the bus has broken down and helps you get the “local” bus. The “local” bus is simply a regular bus owned by the company. You will not be refunded the difference in value between the VIP bus and regular bus.
- Version 3: you pay for a big bus but end up on an overcrowded and old minibus.
Places to beware:
- Luang Prabang
- Vang Vieng
What to do:
- If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Get your tickets at the bus stop rather than buying in advance.
- Alternatively, make private arrangements with your hotel/hostel or day tour platforms like Klook (best in Asia) – 8 transport options.