15 responses

  1. Pete
    September 7, 2011

    Oh my goodness…..

    I have just returned from SE Asia and had to do a google search to see if anyone else had experienced & documented the same horrors as I.

    We are brothers’ in pain. And sleep deprivation.

  2. rolanstein
    September 8, 2011

    Hi Pete. Had a good chuckle at your comment. I can laugh now, enough time having elapsed since the nightmare of that ironically named “sleeper bus” to put my post-traumatic stress disorder behind me. I see you are still deep in yours! All the best for a full recovery, bro!

    Cheers!
    R

    PS: Actually, it was worse than a nightmare, which at least requires sleep as a pre-condition.

  3. Leonie
    September 24, 2012

    I understand your pain completely. Oxymoron at its best – sleeper bus. We were a family of 5 and our buses (yes we did more than one!) were generally overbooked. I actually think the people who slept in the aisles got a better sleep. One of our seatbelts was gummed up with something. I told the child not to even try to imagine what it was. The ‘blankets’ were yuk, but we lived through it and now laugh at the experience. I can still visualise my 6’4″ husbands’ face in the middle of the night and it makes me smile (although not at the time).

  4. Jem
    January 2, 2013

    I am on a sleeper bus as I type this! Looking for some kind of consolation I searched the sleeper bus in google. Everything you have said in this post is spot on! I’m laughing my ass off at all the points I can relate to! Can’t wait to show your post to my friend when we make another frequent stop that makes it impossible to sleep.

  5. rolanstein
    January 2, 2013

    Hi Jem and my sincere commiserations! By the time you read this, your ordeal will be over, so there’s a reason to down a few extra bia-hoi! See, even the sleeper bus nightmare has an upside! Not enough of one for me ever to consider putting myself through it again, though – not in this incarnation, anyway!

    Glad my post gave you a chuckle, and hopefully you found some solace in knowing that you were not alone in your suffering. Do what you can to warn others off the experience – it’s the least we can do! OTOH, maybe everyone deserves just one sleeper bus experience…

    Enjoy the rest of your Vietnam travels!

    Cheers and Happy New Year
    rolanstein

  6. Jackson M
    January 11, 2013

    I have just paid for an overnight sleeper bus from Hanoi to Hue for my three friends and I. I now am terrified of what tonight will hold for us, iam 6″4 and guess im in for a bloody shit night then hey! will see how i enjoyed the night and share my experience tomorrow. FAQK!

  7. rolanstein
    January 11, 2013

    Hi Jackson M.

    Oh my lawd – 6ft4 you say? FAQK indeed! You’ll be through the ordeal by the time you get to read this. Hopefully, you’ll have had a wonderful, restful journey sleeping like a baby all the way. OTOH…

    Looking forward to your report!

    Cheers!
    rolanstein

  8. Nick
    January 15, 2013

    I am currently on the same sleeper bus in exactly the same seat/ bed with my partner next to me heading from Hoi an to Nha tran. It is so unbelievably uncomfortable that I felt the urge to tap into the wifi at the restaurant the bus stops at to try and find any reviews on this type of bus. I feel like an animal being transported to a slaughter house, and the smell that is emanating from the toilet from below only ads to the over all discomfort. To make things worse the crew operating the bus decided to make themselves a an extra buck by taking all our bags out from underneath the bus filling the underneath with scooters. Our bags were shoved into any space left in the aisles of the bus, that’s when my sunglasses met there fate. Wouldn’t recommend to anyone!!!!

  9. rolanstein
    January 15, 2013

    Nick, when you say “exactly the same seat”, you’re not referring to the dreaded luggage rack I referred to in my post, I hope? I just could not have stayed there. The standard sleeper coffin thingos are unbearable, but that luggage rack is impossible! Quite honestly, if I hadn’t nabbed that spare coffin down below I would have gotten off the bus. (Actually, I shouldn’t say ‘spare’ – I obviously cadged the co-driver’s sleeping quarters).

    Sincere commiserations. But you’ll be over it now, and just think – now you, too, have a travel story for the ages! Not that any bastard will want to listen to it, except those of us who have endured the same torture!

    Cheers!
    rolanstein

  10. rolanstein
    January 15, 2013

    Leonie, I only just noticed your post! The term ‘sleeper bus’ is, indeed, an oxymoron – and of the highest (lowest?) order!

    All who suffer the sleeper bus torment deserve acknowledgement and a sympathetic ear from ‘those who know’! If you’re still subscribed to this thread, please accept my sincere apologies for unwittingly ignoring you!

    Cheers
    rolanstein

  11. Marc G
    March 27, 2014

    I have used the sleeper buses several times from 2008 to 2012…..my experiences have been much better than the ones described here. Have usually slept most of the way on Ho Chi Minh City/Nha Trang trips…..about 8 hours. Only regret is that I missed some of the good food at the bus stops. Although not some of the restrooms at those stops. It’s all part of the adventure. I had not used the bus system in the USA since my service days….last year I tried it again…..go figure , I miss the VN busses !

  12. Marc G
    March 27, 2014

    I can see how a 6’4″ person would have a problem….worked fine for my 6′.

  13. rolanstein
    July 22, 2014

    How, Marc, how? I’m 6 ft. You must be some sort of natural contortionist. But before you get too self-congratulatory, have you challenged yourself to a night in the luggage rack I mentioned? You haven’t lived – or died – until you’ve “done” that. I “did” it in 5 minutes, and that was sufficient to last several lifetimes.

    Cheers!
    rolanstein

  14. Hannah
    September 18, 2014

    I’m heading over to Vietnam in a month’s time, and stumbled across this post looking at reviews for these so-called “sleeper buses”. A struggling uni student, I’m super dooper poor at the moment, and so budget-wise, this does seem to be my cheapest method of transportation from south to north. But holy heck, I think I might try and fork out the little bit extra for the train now – this sounds kinda miserable!

  15. rolanstein
    September 18, 2014

    G’day Hannah. Honestly, go by the usual type of sitting-up-in-seats bus, or train, or cycle or WALK rather than put yourself through a night on a “sleeper” bus (that is one inappropriate descriptor!).

    I’m a long time outta uni, but still travel on a budget – both by necessity and choice. You’ll find Vietnam is a great destination for budget travellers. We stayed in little guest houses or small hotels for under $20 per night most of the time. Clean, and perfectly adequate, and they almost all have free wifi.

    Food can be extremely cheap if you eat at local places. Beer is cheap and good, and if you go for the local 24-hour brew – “bia hơi” – it’s only 25c per glass (might be a bit more now). It’s served nice and cold and is actually surprisingly OK.

    Bus and train is cheap, as is boat where appropriate. And some of the package deals are incredible bargains. eg: In Saigon, we booked on a 48 hour tour of the Mekong Delta which included overnight accommodation, return bus and a very energetic tour guide: $35 per person. We rarely go for package deals,but stayed in Saigon longer than planned and wanted to make up time. Turned out to be an excellent decision. Saw a lot in the time, and you’d never know where to go or how to get there in an intense 48 hours if you travelled under your own steam. Unbelievable value.

    Have a great trip, and do try to avoid that bloody “sleeper” bus nightmare.

    Cheers
    rolanstein

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

Back to top
mobile desktop