We (Tim,Bon,Mari,Todd) got up at 5:30 am and caught the 6:30am but to this "entry" city in Viet Nam...It was a VIP bus(luckily) which means more leg room and softer seats...otherwise, pretty much the same(altho our luggage was underneath instead of on top). After a 2 hour border crossing - actually quite fast as far as crossing go - we went from paved roads in Laos to a road completely under construction the entire way to Vinh!!! This means that in some places we even encountered huge earthmoving shovels having to clear a "new" road for us! It was rugged to say the least, and as I said we were very happy to be on a VIP bus! But due to the many delays(including having to wait while two huge dump trucks pulled another back onto the road after it had driven off!) we finally arrived at 10 PM dead tired and welcomed by a govt. English speaking guide who directed us to his govt. hotel where we stayed/are staying for $4 U.S.+ a nite vs. in Laos we ave. 1.50 - 2.00 per nite per person! Our budget is going to be a bit stretched in V.N. I think. I did the calculations and I averaged $14.70 per day for all expenses in Laos...$18.00 per day in China!