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Most horrible experience: bustour booked at GO Travel

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Most horrible experience: bustour booked at GO Travel

We travelled for 5 weeks through Laos and Vietnam and we only had great experiences except the bustour booked at GO Travel in Hoi An. Go Travel is situated at Nguyen Duy Hieu street in a nice bar and with very nice and friendly girls in red t-shirts. We would like to book a busticket from Hoi An / Da Nang to Pakse (Laos). That was no problem at Go Travel although they recommend us to go not with the sleeping busses because they are not comfortable for western tourists. The sitting busses leave only specific days so we skipped a day in Hoi An after the advice of GO travel to go with the sitting bus. We would be picked up at 5.30 am, while the bus would leave at 6 am. We were wondering if the pick-up would be on time but the friendly GO Travel girls assured us it would be ok. At the next morning at 5.50 am there still wasn't a pick-up car! We called with the manager Ms Tram and she assured us that we still would be on time. The guy who picked us up drove like a madmen probably to be on time. It was very dangerous and not necessary!

When we arrived at the busstation we were roughly pushed into a very old and dirty sleeping bus. The advise of the GO travel girls to don't go with the sleeping bus was the readon we left Hoi An a day earlier and now we went still with a sleeping bus. Unbelievable and unacceptabel. The sleeping bus was horrible. We paid extra to the driver to have a better seat without boxes and other cargo.

The girls of Go Travel seem very nice and they make a lot of promises but they don't realise them. It was really a horrible experience to go with such a terrible bus where we were treated like animals. Go Travel is responsible for that.

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1. Re: Most horrible experience: bustour booked at GO Travel

I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience and I personally have not dealt with GO Travel but I have seen a lot of recommendations on here for them as being a very reputable company.

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2. Re: Most horrible experience: bustour booked at GO Travel

Go Travel Vietnam addressing original post and valuable information for all traveller's wanting to travel to Pakse, Laos

We do remember you coming in and booking the bus to Pakse, Laos right after Lunar New Year and as was explained to you, the buses from Danang to Pakse are out of our control and very horrible, But that is the only way other than private car or ride your own motorbike to get to Pakse, there are no flights yet. So you have no alternative but to take the bus. The buses to Pakse are filled with local Vietnamese and Laos people, an experience of it's own and not nearly to the standards that foreigners expect. These local buses will try to carry as much stuff and as many people as they can, they drive like maniacs, stop to pick up people every where and are not well maintained so break down a lot. Ms Tram warned you about that, but you still wanted to go to Pakse.

At Danang bus station, only one transport company goes to Pakse, so there are no other choices. They have 2 kinds of buses : seating bus and sleeping bus. The seating bus seems a little bit better than sleeping bus, because the beds in the sleeping bus are very small. The buses leave alternatively 3 days a week they go with seating bus and 3 days with sleeping bus, you were explained all of this in detail.

There was a problem with the seating bus that you were to go on in Laos when it was returning to Viet Nam. so the bus company changed you to a sleeping bus at the last minute. (again we are so sorry - some things are completely out of our control)

As for the driver picking you up late, We are very sorry for this. What actually happened, was that the hotel you are staying at also has other hotels by the same name but numbered 1, 2 & 3.. Yes the driver went to the wrong hotel and the hotel receptionist was in a foul mood and as the driver was getting anxious, she just kept saying that the guest was coming.. When you called Ms Tram, she actioned it immediately. He did drive faster than he should, he was very concern about you missing the bus. He like other locals in Hoi An get very frustrated that they do not speak enough english to be able to explain this to you.

Hoi An, Vietnam
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3. Re: Most horrible experience: bustour booked at GO Travel

The bus journey from Da Nang to Pakse is one of the most horrific services to take in Vietnam and in Go Travel's defense they were correct in advising you to take the sitting bus if you really had to travel the route, the sleeping buses are shocking.

I've travelled extensively across S.E Asia by bus and have frequently paid for a better class bus than the one I have ended up on, due to buses breaking down and being replaced by whatever they have - strangely I've never ended up on a better class one than the one I'd booked.

All the buses that do the route to Pakse are local buses (unless you are willing to stump up a lot more for a private mini bus or car for the journey), so what you had was a truly local experience, which is actually quite fun if its just for a short journey.

I am based in Hoi An and for my job I travel extensively. I have used Go Travel to book any overland travel I have done in Vietnam since they opened and I've always been happy with the service they have provided, having previously booked through small VN agencies in town prior to Go Travel's existence: in comparison their service and advice is something I'd happily pay more for (although its often cheaper), as I trust them implicitly to make sure I get from A to B on time and in as comfortable and safe manner as possible. Nowadays if they tell me something is awful, I listen.

That bus route is dangerous, it sounds like they warned you of that prior to you booking, sometimes its worth changing your route a little or paying a little more for a better alternative, it is after all your life you are risking, you only need to look at the statistics for bus crashes in Vietnam to see this.

Your experience although a bad one should warn other travellers that the overland route from Da Nang to Pakse should be avoided by public bus. Go Travel is such a professional organisation that I'm sure they will be horrified your experience was a bad one and will take your comments seriously to make sure it is not repeated.

I for one am very much looking forward to the day they start flying this route (which they say will start in the next month).

Edited: 9:55 pm, March 23, 2013
4. Re: Most horrible experience: bustour booked at GO Travel

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