Some of the boat friends and I took a minivan to phonsavan. It was packed and we got stuck in the back 4 people meant for 3 seats, with no air. After 2 hrs of bouncing around and sweating, the car was smoking. The driver put at least 20 big bottles of water he got from a stream and left the engine on. He ignored all of us telling him to turn the car off.
After 1.5 hr we, the car was still on and overheated, he drove 10 mins till the car died. We demanded he call for a new one though he didn't speak any English. A guy who spoke both languages told us one will be here soon.
We walked to a near by small village on the road by the cliffs for some food and warm beer. The villages are all long and narrow with small huts for houses and kids bathing naked outside and lots of chickens running around. I'm amazed they have running water up here.
I asked the guy who spoke both languages how long should the trip be because lonely planet said 10 hrs and the ticket agency said 6. After much confusion, he said we are headed to the Thai boarder which is the opposite way we wanted to go.
After having a heart attack and then checking our gps on our phones we told him that he was going the wrong way, not us. He had to hitch back in to town but before he did he proudly told us he tried heroin last night. Hmm maybe one shouldn't do that before traveling.
Our new minivan was nicer with our own seats and Ac! The road winds and curves through the lush green moutains. You wear your seatbelt to stay on your seat. Still pretty bouncy and with the many turns, two local girls kept getting sick and tossing their full plastic bags out the window. We made a stop to pee alongside the road.
Before we got on the crappy first crowded minivan I had a bad feeling and wanted to say no we paid for our own seats and we should have another van. But it's so hard to be demanding when no on speaks your language.