Overnight buses are a great way to travel and save on accommodation.
Once you manage to fall asleep don’t be surprised if you’re woken by a crashing sound.
Being in bus accidents in Southeast Asia is as common as getting the shits.
As you travel Southeast Asia you’ll eventually hear someone talk about a bus accident.
And there’s a good chance that accident happened in Vietnam.
Vietnam has the 2nd highest traffic casualties in Southeast Asia(Thailand is 1st).
The driving in Vietnam is the second worst driving I have ever seen.
China was the absolute worst.
Madness I tell you.
Well my Bus Accident story is no different than many others.
Because mine also happened in Vietnam.
LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN.
I was traveling overnight from Phong Nha to Ninh Binh.
For transportation to leave on time in Southeast Asia is kind of a miracle.
So I wasn’t too surprised when our 9 pm bus didn’t show up until 10 pm.
Normally that means you’ll show up an hour late.
But our driver must have been determined to get us there on time.
Because this guy was speeding down the road like a madman.
My seat was on the top right side, 2 seats back from the front.
I had a good view of the driver and I could see out the windshield.
When I drifted off to sleep it was lightly raining.
Our driver was still speeding but he wasn’t driving anymore reckless than that.
Around 2 am I woke to the sound of a bunch of water splashing onto the windshield.
Right away I noticed it was pouring rain outside.
But the sound I heard wasn’t drops hitting the window.
It sounded like a splash.
Then a few seconds later I witnessed it.
Our driver was still speeding down the road but going through huge puddles.
They would splash over the windshield completely covering it for a few seconds.
After seeing that I realized he was driving WAY too fast in this horrible weather.
I watched as he barrelled through these deep puddles.
And then he hit another puddle and I’m pretty sure we hydroplaned.
The next thing I know the whole right side(my side) of the bus slams into something for a quick second.
The driver briefly lets off the gas and keeps driving like nothing happened.
I immediately looked at the driver and he had a tight grip on the wheel and was really stiff.
At that moment… he knew he fucked up.
Everyone woke and someone said “Did we just get in an accident?”
I said, “We sure did.”
But the driver kept driving.
I don’t know why, but it didn’t occur to me to immediately open my window curtain to see what we hit.
Another bus employee started talking to the driver and 5 minutes later he pulled over.
When we pulled over I opened my curtain and saw guard rails along the freeway.
So I’m assuming we side swiped into those.
Another bus was pulled over too so I wasn’t sure if we hit them.
But it didn’t sound like we hit another vehicle.
We weren’t honked at and the people from the other bus never looked at their bus.
They only came over to look at ours.
About 10 minutes later our driver was back on the bus and we continued on our journey.
When we finally reached Ninh Binh I looked at the side of the bus and didn’t see a single scratch on it.
So I really have no idea what we hit.
I’m assuming it was the guard rail.
RITE OF PASSAGE.
RESEARCH THE BUS COMPANIES.
My accident was nothing serious, just jarring.
I was lucky, unlike THESE PEOPLE.
I still recommend sleeper buses because they are convenient.
But try to read reviews of the companies you use beforehand.
And hope your bus is on time.
That way your driver won’t be speeding the entire time.
The company I used for my horrible ride was: Hung Thanh Travel.
I didn’t research them in advance because I booked my bus through my hostel.
But a quick google search brings up their Trip Advisor reviews and WOW, THEY’RE ATROCIOUS!
Have you been in any Bus Accidents in Southeast Asia?
Let’s hear about them in the comments below.