February 17, 2007

181206 Huay Xai bus station

No longer next to the morning market approx 1.5-2km out of the town center (according to several guidebooks & maps), but waaayy further south along HWY 3, in the middle of nowhere. The government has been shifting bus stations (& markets) away from town centres, boosting the income of tuktuk & songthaew drivers & making poorer locals walk & push their heavy carts a long long way.

Figuring out which bus to take was easy as there isn't much of a choice. Only one proper highway out of Huay Xai - to Luang Namtha - & only 2 buses a day, when the driver thinks it is 09:00AM or 11:30AM, which might not be quite the same as what you think. This would be the only bus ride where full name, nationality & passport no. had to be recorded in English on the ticket:


At all other bus stations & boat offices, the following would happen without fail...

staff: seu1? (name?)
cat: (says cat name)
staff: ?!
cat: koi4 bpen1 fa1 lang1 (I am a farang)
staff: !! (scribbles something in Lao & hands over ticket)

Examples of the 'something in Lao':


From top to bottom:
  • [1 & 6] dtor3 dtaa3 (ต 'dt' for 'eye') - slash - thor2 thung2 (ท 'th' for flag), an abbreviation for dtaang1 bpa1 thet4 (lit. foreign)?
  • [2] dtaang1 bpa1 thet4
  • [3] phasaa angkit (lit. English language) - cat asked if khian2 pha1 saa2 ang1 kit2 dai4 bor4 (can write it in English?), & the staff responded by writing 'phasaa angkit' as its name HAHAHA!
  • [4] no idea
  • [5] khaek4 ying2 (lit. guest female)
The cat is interested in finding out what other names bus station & boat office staff across north Lao have given it in its collection of bus & boat tickets...hope none are rude ;)

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