Van Vieng, Venergan

The next day we woke early to offer alms (food) ((rice)) to the Buddhist monks. They hold a procession down the main street each morning from 5.30am to collect their food as thanks for devoting their life to Buddhist teachings .

Then we were back on the bus. I woke up feeling fine and dandy but I was talking with a fellow tourist over breakfast and mentioned in passing that I wasn’t looking forward to the imminent winding bus trip. Here is where I learnt a valuable lesson of “don’t take drugs, even if they’re from your friends, even if they’re from a pharmacy” – which Healthy Harold  apparently skipped. My friend offered me a pack of motion sickness pills… I took two.

These pills were phenergan. This is a nice little catch-all drug that can be used as a antihistamine, anti-nausea and a pretty good sedative, of which I discovered that I was HIGHLY sensitive to…

As such, I no longer recall much of this portion of our holiday and instead I will summarise the next few hours in dot point and relegate my bus trip to the following image.


I pretty much woke up at the hotel several hours later. Jono managed to eventually get me to eat and drink and I suppose enough time had passed for me to come back into consciousness, prior to this the following events occurred:

  • Apparently I took the two pills before I got on the bus.
  • I then sat down in my assigned chair, got comfortable while other passengers boarded
  • I fell asleep before the bus doors closed, Jono could not rouse me until the bus stopped for a toilet break. He managed to shake me awake to get up and use the toilet.
  • I stood up, walked to the end of the bus (without money or water or paper and niceties we keep in the backpack we carried) and proceeded to squat on the side of the road like some kind of animal before he caught me and directed me to the actual toilets where I stayed for some time.
  • Then I got back on the bus and went back into my coma for another few hours.
  • Then we stopped for food atop a mountain with incredibly steep and sheer cliffs around a restaurant.
  • Jono had to keep a hold of my wrist because I was still in a stupor, stumbling around and standing atop picnic tables.
  • I loaded up a plate and didn’t eat.
  • Again I went into the toilet and where I stayed for some time.
  • Once emerged, I got back on the bus for another three hours, passing in and out of consciousness and conversation (not always coherent or even with my eyes open) until we arrived at Vang Vieng
  • Where Jono waited for some time, allowing me to wander around the relatively small and crowded village staring at people.
  • Neither of us will recommend that experience.

Below is the only photo I took the entire day – I understand why I was in the toilet for so long!


This blog post is a part of a series I wrote while on the Contiki Asian Adventure Tour.


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