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“It Was a F#^%*ng Chicken Truck!” – Unexpected Adventures in Laos

SOMEWHERE IN NORTHERN LAOS – It’s nearly two-thirty in the morning, and I’ve been on this damned “sleeper” bus for almost five hours now. I’m not sure why sleep is so elusive on this particular night; maybe it’s the fact that the mountainous road from Luang Prabang consists of nearly one hundred straight miles of steeply ascending and descending switchbacks with no real respite before the barely-paved road finally straightens out somewhat after Vang Vieng, or maybe it’s the fact that this area carries a certain notoriety for the restive Hmong tribes that live in the surrounding hillsides and are known to carry out occasional attacks on buses due to an ongoing conflict with the government.

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