Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Far West in the Far East: Eighteen hours on a Chinese sleeper bus
It's hard to photograph the inside of the bus, since three rows of bunk beds run the length of the vehicle. Not surprisingly, the beds are narrow and short, making it difficult for a Westerner to get comfortable but certainly better than sitting upright. Luggage, sacks of rice, and shoes are all tucked under the bottom bunk.
My ride from Menglian to Kunming wasn't my first trip on a Chinese sleeper bus but it was my longest. Eighteen hours is a long time to do any one thing, and riding a Chinese bus is no exception. Before we left, we found out that our rickety vehicle was twenty years old and making its final run. Despite maneuvering massive vehicles, drivers routinely pass slower cars on blind corners, careening around turns with no guardrail. I find it best to just not look out the window, and hope for the best. My traveling companion required pharmaceutical help to deal with her nerves.
Still, for a trip that long when train travel isn't an option, the overnight sleeper bus is a good choice. Cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than flying (though it's debatable based on the cloud of black smoke we left in our wake), the buses are perfectly adequate for any traveler who is mentally prepared for the smoke and death-defying driving.
Read more about my life in China here.