22 February 2008

Interesting planes and buses with pigs on the roof

I flew to Sam Neua but couldn't get a flight home due to bad weather. Instead of a one hour flight, it was a 20 hour bus ride home.

I discovered an airline I didn't know about called Lao Air because I found out it flies to Sam Neua where I wanted to go. I need to create a page for it in Wikipedia because it's not there. When I booked I didn't even get a proper air ticket. They just gave me a receipt which didn't even list the flight times, just the check- in time on the flight on the way there.

I did do a bit of a research about the plane. It was a Cessna Grand Caravan with 14 seats. This model is from 2004 and the biggest user is FedEx which made me feel confident. We were happy that the plane could take off and land because it can't when it's foggy. It has been very foggy in Sam Neua recently due to the cold temperatures from winds originating in China.

We showed up at Sam Neua Airport for the flight home to find it closed. We called and found out it was cancelled due to bad weather. When we booked they said if that happened they would try the next day, but when we called they really had no intention of doing that because they need to use the plane to fly other routes. We didn't want to wait around until the weather improved anyway.

Some people bought pigs in Sam Neua, put them in sacks on top of the bus for 9 hours and got off just before we arrived in Phonsavan. The pigs squealed every time we went around a tight corner. The bigger pigs had their snouts out of the bag. The people on the bus spoke a language other than Lao. There was one poor woman spewing out the window and another with a very nasty cough. The driver had to stop to fix the brakes. The journey was very long because the road is mountainous so the driver can't go too fast. The overnight journey from Phonsavan to Vientiane was much quicker because the bus was better quality and it didn't constantly stop for people to get their pigs or sacks of fish food on and off the roof.

1 comment:

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