A Gringa’s Guide to Traveling by Chicken Bus

I’ve been living in Honduras for 9 months.  My experience on chicken busses has been pretty much the same here as in Peru, China, and the Philippines.  I’ve traveled all around Honduras on different types of busses, but I was inspired to write this blog after my recent trip through Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and back to Honduras.

1) Forget your ideas about schedules. If you leave from a terminal, the bus will leave when it is full. It will stop whenever necessary for people to get on and off.

2) Forget your ideas about “full”. There is no such thing as a full bus. There is always room for more people.

3) Personal space is not a thing.

4) Air conditioning is not a thing.

5) If somebody gets on that is really old and decrepit, someone should give up a seat. Remember that you are someone.

6) You usually don’t pay at the beginning or end of your trip, but at some random point in the middle.

7) If you pay with a large bill you will get “the look”.

8) Ask the driver or cobrero (the guy you pay) where you need to get off ahead of time. You don’t want to pass close by your destination only to take a taxi from a distant terminal.

9) Don’t take forever to get on or off the bus.

10) What might look like chaos is really a well-oiled machine. If you’re not sure which bus you need or what the connections are, just ask. Somebody will most likely come up to you and show you which bus.

11)  If somebody wants to chit chat with you, take out your earbuds and have a conversation.  Enjoy the fact that someone from another culture is opening up and is interested in you.

12) Be respectful. Everybody wants to get to their destination just as much as you do and for most, this is the only way they ever have to travel.

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