After having an amazing experience taking a Sleeper Bus from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne, we expected another great bus ride from Mui Ne to Da Lat. We could not have been more disappointed.
We had booked the bus with Vietnam Bus Tickets over a month in advance but decided to leave Mui Ne earlier than planned. Although the website claims that tickets are not refundable and changing them is not guaranteed, we had no problem calling the company and changing to an earlier time.
This was the second time we successfully changed our reservation with the company that was nothing but amazing until this very moment. When we arrived at the agreed-upon pick up location, the staff knew about the change we made over the phone and the bus arrived on time. Since we changed our tickets last minute, we expected to get bad seats so we wouldn’t have complained about being stuck in the back, if only it had been the sleeper bus we paid for…
The road from Mui Ne to Da Lat is full of twists, turns and endless bumps. Unlike the previous bus we had taken with this company, this one was old and extra rickety. I still don’t know how it made it up the steep hills but I can’t forget the bruises the ride left on my arms. There was also no free water on this bus, which we expected, so we were thirsty for over two hours until we came to a rest stop.
As tempted as we were to buy some fresh bananas to curb our hunger, we were too worried about throwing up on the bus and stuck to water. It was impossible to read on the bus or even rest our heads against anything since the vibration and constant jerking was felt even through my neck pillow. It was a horrible five hours full of “are we there yet”s and loud music that we played in attempt to distract us and make time go faster.
We used this company one more time on the trip and had a much better experience so overall, Vietnam Bus was a good and reliable way to get around. I’d recommend it to others with the warning that not all of their buses are comfortable.
It’s best to call ahead and find out if the bus you’re on really is the VIP sleeper bus that you’re expecting and change to a different bus if they can guarantee comfort. I’m the type of person who stays at hostels and will sleep on the floor of an airport without complaint, so believe me when I say that a bus ride was the worst bus ride of my life and absolutely unbearable.