Thailand To Allow Again Land Border Entry for Expats In Laos And Other Neighboring Countries

The Interior Ministry regulation will be amended to allow foreigners who receive a visa waiver for 30 days and travel into Thailand via land immigration checkpoints or land border checkpoints to enter the country with an unlimited number of visa waivers per calendar year.

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Plain Of Jars Potential As Unesco World Heritage Site Considered

A meeting will be held this week in Xieng Khuang province to report on the progress made for the consideration of the Plain of Jars (Thong Hai Hin) as a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Vientiane Airport: International Expansion As China Tourism Booms

Vientiane Airport has doubled the size of its international terminal, supporting a Laotian initiative to boost tourism. Laos expects Vientiane’s international passenger traffic to double over the next five years, driven by a rapid increase in visitor numbers.

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Laos’ Main Airport Got Huge Expansion

The international terminal of the airport serving the Laotian capital of Vientiane, Wattay International Airport, can now accommodate as many as 2.3 million foreign travelers a year, roughly nine times the original terminal’s capacity.

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Inspection Ordered As Road Toll Bites In Champassak

Champassak provincial authorities will soon order an inspection of Road No. 16 including accurate details on the construction budget as the government contemplates plans to purchase the project rights from the private construction company.

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New Flights To Boost Links Between Laos and China

Laos and China on Monday officially set in motion a new air route between the two countries, aimed not only at boosting tourism but also other areas of cooperation.
The new flight will carry tourists and other travellers between Vientiane and Luang Prabang province in Laos and Hainan province in China.

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LOCA «Get Around Like Local », a Lao Ride Sharing Application Available Now!

LOCA is an application that provides on-demand transportation similar to two worldwide applications called UBER and GRAB. LOCA represents the revolution of transport in Laos since LOCA is the first company to introduce a transport application that is convenient and cashless for the country.

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Tour Companies Tout Laos As Adventure Lovers’ Paradise

Local tour companies are continuing efforts to promote Laos as an adventure tourism destination with a recent exhibition held at the Vientiane Center shopping mall.

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Laos Movie Industry Begins To Flower After Decades Of Neglect

In Laos, one of the poorest nations in the world, the local film industry is beginning to flower after decades of being virtually non-existent. Local directors are creating critically acclaimed films despite limited resources

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Tourism And Development Threaten Laos’ French Traditions

It remains a jewel of French colonial architecture, you can savor some of the best croissants and baguettes east of Paris here, and even toddlers still learn the language of their bygone rulers. Luang Prabang, tucked into a river valley in the heart of Laos, survives as one of the last bastions of the old French Indochina.

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China Southern Adds Lao Route

China Southern plans to fly to Vientiane from Chongqing in China during the summer timetable months April to October. The airline has filed for three weekly flights starting 26 March according to timetable information reported by Airlineroute.
The new service would use an …

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Green Light For Tourism Complex Development In Vangvieng; Casino Pending Approval

A Chinese company is beginning construction of a more than US$200-million tourism complex at the disused airfield in Vangvieng district. The project will include a five-star hotel, a modern private hospital, a public park and a planned casino.

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Top Ten Hard Truths Of Living As An Expat In Thailand

There will be bumps along the way between your visits to the beach, bar and immigration office (sometimes the bumps will be at the beach, bar and immigration office). Expat life is what you make it here in the Land of Smiles. Moaning about it never helps but accepting the bumps is part of the adventure. Here are our Top Ten Hard Truths for expats in Thailand.

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Mango Mania: Iconic Views and Soothing Entrees

Running water, its soothing white noise comforts and welcomes. This is the sound that greets customers as they enter the sanctum sanctorum which is the uniqueness of Mango Mania.
Mango Mania is a U-shaped greenhouse that appears more mirage-like than edificial. At the base of the U, framed by two bright red wooden doors reminiscent of …

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Wattay Airport Shuttle Bus Service Launched

Vientiane Bus Enterprise launched its commercial operations for the new shuttle bus service to Wattay Airport. The shuttle bus service will be available between Central Bus Station at Talat Sao and Wattay International Airport.

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Anthony Bourdain And James Syhabout On The Cuisine You Don’t Know – But Should

You’ve probably tasted Laotian flavors and not even realized it. Anthony Bourdain and chef James Syhabout want to change that. Syhabout is the force behind two Michelin-starred restaurants, Commis and sister eatery Hawker Fare, which focuses on the Laotian cuisine of his childhood. Bourdain is the host of the popular travel and food show “Parts Unknown.” He calls Hawker Fare one of the most important restaurants he’s ever visited.

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With Its Environmental Crisis, Is Laos Missing The Forest For The Trees?

Laos’ reputation as having some of the most lush and diverse forests in the Mekong remains under serious threat after a December investigation by government officials found evidence of large-scale illegal logging operations in the southern Attapeu province, despite recent efforts to end the practice. Laos, which is left with just 40 percent of the country covered by closed canopy forests, is facing an environmental crisis with much of the remaining forests unhealthy and degraded.

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Utilise Local Tour Guides Or Face Penalties, Foreign Tour Operators Warned

Lao authorities have warned foreign tour operators to utilise local tour guides otherwise they will be fined.
The authorities also warned foreign tour operators to partner with local counterparts in arranging package tour programmes in Laos; if not they will face measures.

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Seek Permission Before Flying Your Drone, Lao Ministry Warns

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has warned drone owners to seek permission from the relevant authorities before flying their drones – if not, the owners will face penalties.

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Luang Prabang Film Festival Selects 10 Projects for 2017 Talent Lab

The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) has selected 10 projects from across Southeast Asia to participate in its 2017 Talent Lab, to be led by Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI). The Lab, which will focus on grant writing and project pitching, will be held during the opening weekend of the eighth annual festival, which will take place 8-13 December 2017.

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Baci Ritual: A Centrepiece Of Lao Culture

The baci or Sou khuan is a well-known traditional ritual and has a deep meaning for Lao people.
The baci ceremony is reminiscent of Brahmanism and animism. It follows the belief that the human being’s main body parts are inhabited by 32, or even more, spirits. In some circumstances, these spirits may leave the body to wander around and get lost in the universe, thus causing you to become weak and vulnerable to danger.
It’s therefore important to call the missing spirits back, so you can be yourself again. This ceremony is performed on important occasions such as births…..

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Cycling In Southern Laos – An Unparalleled Way To Immerse Yourself In The Local Lifestyle

In southern Laos, there are numerous cycling tours on offer for all levels all year round but winter makes the best time as the weather is dry and the temperature is cooler. It’s an activity we really recommend as it’s an unparalleled way to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.

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King of Thailand’s Funeral Ceremony: Advice for Tourists Oct 2017

Thailand is building up to what will be a historic period with final preparations under way for the funeral of the late King. The Royal Cremation Ceremony will be held in Bangkok from October 25-29. It will be a sad time for Thai people, but the country will remain as welcoming as ever for tourists and you will still be able to enjoy your trip. Although there is no need to change travel plans, please be respectful and if you are visiting Bangkok or other areas of Thailand in October, there are some important points to be aware of.

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Luang Prabang Film Festival Announces 2017 Talent Lab

The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) has announced that it is looking for applicants for its 2017 Talent Lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers, to be led by Tribeca Film Institute® (TFI). The Lab, which will focus on grant writing and project pitching, will be held during the opening weekend of the eighth annual festival, which will take place 8-13 December 2017.

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Hilton Enters Laos

The US hotel giant has penned a deal with TPD Company to manage the 160-room DoubleTree by Hilton Vientiane, which is scheduled to open in the Lao capital in early 2020.
Located in the centre of the city, on the intersection of Rue Setthathilath and Rue Manthatourath, about 5km from the Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport, the upscale hotel will be close to the ….

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Wattay International Airport Expansion 11 Percent Complete

The Vientiane International Airport Expansion Project has now achieved 11 percent of its contractual goals and should be complete by the beginning of 2018.
The project is being financed by a concessional loan from the Japanese government of about 9 billion Japanese yen.
The expansion will enlarge the existing passenger service facilities to deal with the increasing demand for …..

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Risky Roads in Laos

Travellers are warned to not travel overland from Vang Viang to Luang Prabang as a safety precaution, according to the latest Smartraveller advisory issued by the Australian government, Monday.
The Australian advisory did not elaborate other than to say it was recommending travellers avoid overland travel on highway 13 beyond Vang Vieng.
However, a recent Canadian travel advisory advices travellers to ….

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International Passenger Flights To Laos Taking Off

More overseas passenger flights are coming to Laos, which will further contribute to the growth of trade and tourism, according to an official in the sector.
A Department of Civil Aviation official, who asked not to be named, told Vientiane Times that many countries now operate direct flights to Laos, including some charter flights.
This included more flights from China. Previously, only …

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Expats In Laos Limited To Two Entries Per Year Without Visa: Thailand

From December 31st immigration checkpoints at land border crossings into Thailand will only allow visitors to enter the Kingdom on a visa exemption stamp twice in a calendar year, bringing an end to the much used loophole of staying in the country by doing back to back border hops.
Citizens of certain countries, including ….

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) To Launch First Luxury Hotel In Laos

Set to open in 2021, the new-build InterContinental Vientiane will become the company’s second hotel in Southeast Asian country, following the existing Crowne Plaza Vientiane. It will also become one of the Lao capital’s largest hotels, with more than 400 rooms.
Built by Lao International Development, the hotel will form part of the new World Trade Centre complex – a mixed-use development that will include a large retail mall, medical centre, ….

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Bookings Available For New Overnight Train Nong Khai To Bangkok

Thailand’s new and possibly fanciest regular train service can now be booked for overnight trips from Nong Khai to Bangkok.
Equipped with new carriages featuring improved decor and facilities, the Special Express Train routes links the capital with Nong Khai, starting Dec. 2. Tickets are now on sale, prices range from 700 baht to ….

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Silkair’s Inaugural Flight To Laos Takes To The Skies Today

SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, today launched its inaugural flight to Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Laos. With this launch, SilkAir’s route network now spans 51 destinations in 14 countries.
The inaugural flight departed this afternoon at 1.20pm from Changi Airport and is expected to arrive at Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport at 3.15pm. It will then depart at 4.05pm for Luang Prabang International Airport, and is expected to arrive at …..

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That Luang Marsh Developer To Build Theme Park

A Chinese developer plans to invest US$80 million to construct a water theme park next year at the That Luang Marsh Specific Economic Zone in Vientiane to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
The concept is to capture a slice of the increasing foreign visitor market to Laos while enticing domestic tourists and discourage them from travelling to neighbouring countries for their …..

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Cruising The Mighty Mekong In Style

Here I am, lounging in the shade, avoiding the hot, mid-morning sun along the Mekong as we slowly wind our way downriver to Luang Prabang. All is quiet and peaceful except for the sound of the boat’s motor slicing through the water, glistening as it rushes past us.
Steep hilltops sitting lush and green from the rains, close in on us as the river bends and narrows, giving us a close-up glimpse of their sheer magnitude. The views are absolutely ….

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Virtual Reality And Drones Could Unlock Secrets Of Mysterious Plain Of Jars In Laos

Ancient, monumental sandstone jars up to two-and-a-half metres high dot the landscape in central Laos in seemingly random patterns — what was their purpose? Who built the sites? Where did they live?
These questions have perplexed locals and visitors for centuries but now researchers from Australia’s Monash University and the Australian National University are using drone technology and virtual ….

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Seat Quotas Increased For Bangkok-Vientiane Route

Thai airlines will soon be allowed to operate more flights to Vientiane, Laos, according to the Thai-Lao accord approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
The quota is raised from 2,100 seats to 14,500 for the flights from Bangkok to Vientiane. Meanwhile, from Vientiane to Bangkok, the quota is …..

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Lao Tourism Goes Green to Boost Growth

Laos has signed a new cross-border tourism cooperation agreement with neighboring Thailand as part of its broader efforts to boost regional hospitality links, especially eco-tourism.
The agreement came during an official visit to Thailand this week by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
The deal builds on moves to expand regional ties and networks among countries in the …..

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Thai AirAsia Stages Inaugural “Vientiane-Bangkok” Flight

AirAsia, “World’s Best Low Cost Airline” 7 years running as ranked by Skytrax, began daily direct flights from Vientiane to Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) of Thailand today (1 July) with an official press launch and a special promotional fare starting at only 35 USD per trip.
Available for booking today to 3 July 2016 for travel from ….

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Khonphapheng Waterfall Recorded As The World Largest

Khonephapheng Waterfall in Khong district of Champassak province has been recorded as the world largest waterfall, according to the website of www.worldwaterfalldatabase.com.
World Waterfall Database lists the world’s largest waterfalls by width and ranks Laos’ natural wonder on top. The representative list contains those known to have an average width of at least …..

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High Service Costs Challenge Tourism Businesses

The high cost of tour services in Laos is a major challenge for Lao tourism businesses when it comes to competing within the Asean region.
Median expenditure level for a traveller in Laos is about US$65 a day, while in neighbouring Asean countries average visitors paid only US$45, President of the Lao Association of Travel Agents told yesterday.
“Until now we cannot decide what the reasons behind the …..

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Luang Prabang Sees Unexpected Dip In Tourism Growth

Although more tourists visited Luang Prabang province this year than ever before, the rate of growth has not been as high as anticipated, a senior tourism official has noted.
Much more needs to be done in terms of marketing and creating confidence among international tourists, to encourage them to visit the World Heritage town.
“The number of tourist arrivals in the province reached …..

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Make The Most Of Tourism Potential, ADB Economist Advises

The full potential of tourism in Laos has yet to be realised and the government should grab the opportunity to amass more income, with the sector currently generating the most revenue after hydroelectricity and mines.
“The Lao government has to do something more to ensure Laos fully benefits from the tourism sector, especially from high-end tourists from Asia, Europe and ….

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Restoration Beautifies National Icon: Hor Pha Keo Museum

A visit to Hor Pha Keo often inspires visitors to delve into Laos’ rich past with the site being the former resting place of the revered Emerald Buddha.
The Hor Pha Keo temple or museum is one of the most respected places in Laos and is also open for visitors to explore its antiquities. Hor Pha Keo is one of the oldest buildings in Vientiane and was used as a ….

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Oscar Winner Lord Puttnam Tackles Lao Tourism Challenges

Oscar-winning producer Lord Puttnam was recently walking along Luang Prabang’s streets. He notices a fine-looking four-storey hotel topped with a terrace. He hikes up the stairs and takes in the view. He then asks the staff if he can order a drink. The smiling worker replies, “Yes sir, on the first floor.”
Lord Puttnam’s anecdote kicked off his keynote address at the 18th Lanith Symposium on the challenges and barriers in …..

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Thailand Tightens Up Rules On Foreign Tourist Vehicles

Foreign tourists will be banned from driving motorcycles and motor homes into Thailand as part of measures to control an influx of foreign vehicles onto Thai roads, particularly in the North.
The order will also prohibit people who have not made prior agreements on car usage abroad from driving cars into Thailand from China, Myanmar, ……..

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Laos Gets Tough With Foreigners Entering Nation

The Laotian government has issued an urgent order for officials to get stricter on foreigners entering the country.
Everyone entering Laos from tomorrow must have complete documents, said a source at the 1st Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge border checkpoint om March 5th.
The move followed several recent incidents of armed robbers assaulting and killing people and the ….

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Foreigners Being Arrested For Not Carrying Passports: Thai Police

On Friday, one hundred police officers and tourist police officers raided and roped off an entertainment complex in Chiang Mai, refusing to let tourists go, testing urine for drugs and arresting tourists without a passport on them.
In a separate incident, again more than 100 officers raided Pattaya’s famed Walking Street and took ……

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Thai AirAsia To Fly Luang Prabang

Thai AirAsia will inaugurate a daily flight from Bangkok (Don Mueang Airport) to Luang Prabang in Lao PDR effective 24 March.
In the past, authorities rejected applications by low-cost airlines to fly to Luang Prabang. The country also opted out of the ASEAN Open Skies agreement, apparently to protect its national airline, at the expense of its fledging ….

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Vat Phou Festival: Plenty Of Accommodation Available

Visitors to the Vat Phou festival in Champassak province need not worry about accommodation as hotels and guesthouses are not yet fully booked, an official has confirmed.
Hotels and guesthouses are not fully booked due to a reduction in the number of foreign tourists visiting Vat Phou at present.
This year, Vat Phou festival will take place from …..

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Magical Laotian Town Preserved By UNESCO Loses Its Soul

It is officially described as the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia, a bygone seat of kings tucked into a remote river valley of Laos. Luang Prabang weaves a never-never land spell on many a visitor with its tapestry of French colonial villas and Buddhist temples draped in a languid atmosphere.
But most of the locals don’t live here anymore. They began an exodus from this seeming Shangri-La after their hometown was listed a ….

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No, Disneyland Is Not Coming to Laos

The Walt Disney Co. today dispelled rumors the Magic Kingdom is coming to the neighboring Communist Republic.
Responding to false reports on social media and the domestic news media that the world’s seventh Disneyland theme park was coming to the Marxist mountain nation, a representative from the U.S.-based Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said that is ….

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Disney Laos Site Preparation To Begin Next Month

Excavation work to prepare land for construction of Disney Laos in the Thakhaek Specific Economic Zone in Khammuan province will begin next month, according to the project developer.
The planned construction of the Thakhaek Ehsan International Financial Centre owned by the company and its business partners will also begin in …..

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ITECC waterpark To Open Children’s Zone This Month

Behind the lTECC’s mall is one of the highlights of the project, Ocean Park. At over 32,000 square metres, Ocean Park will be the largest waterpark ever built in the Lao PDR and it will have something for people of all ages to enjoy.
With six waterslides, two ocean wave pools, two children’s areas, two rock climbing walls, ziplines, and a lazy river that is over 350 metres long, people will have a great time cooling …..

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East Lancashire Couple Escape Injury As Two Die In Laos Bus Smash

A BACKPACKING couple on a once in a lifetime trip in Asia have relived the moment they escaped a fatal bus crash.
Sean Martin, 26, and Gemma Sanderson, 27, said they were still suffering flashbacks after their sleeper bus crashed and flipped onto its roof as it travelled through Laos.
The couple, of Rishton, packed up their lives in October to fulfil a dream of travelling Asia for six months. But as they were travelling between Pakse and Vientiane the bus overturned killing …..

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Luang Prabang: 20 Years Of World Heritage

Luang Prabang is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a World Heritage Site, listed by UNESCO in 1995, helping to preserve Lao culture.
The 20th anniversary of the World Heritage Site will be celebrated in the midst of the 40th anniversary of our country’s foundation on December 2, 1975. It is an important year for our country and in Luang Prabang a trade fair will be held on December 5, before conducting …..

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Plain of Jars World Heritage Nomination Edging Closer

The Heritage Department of Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism is hopeful of having the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province ready for World Heritage nomination next year.
The centuries-old Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape thought to date back 2,500 to 3,000 years. The area contains more than 2,000 stone jars and has been submitted to UNESCO for inclusion in the list of …..

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Do Not Post Your Airline Boarding Pass Online

If you ever thought of posting a picture of your boarding pass online, especially in social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram, you better think twice.
Technology security expert Brian Krebs, who writes for a renowned cybersecurity news site Krebs on Security, took to his blog last month to warn travellers against posting a picture of their boarding pass online in a bid to …..

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India & Laos Agree Direct Flights

The governments of India and Laos have signed a new agreement that paves the way for direct flights between the two countries.
The Hindu reports that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) penned on Friday will enable airlines of both countries to operate direct flights, and Anil Wadhwa of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, was reported saying that airlines would now explore the possibility of new routes.
“I think there was more ….

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‘New’ Crackdown On Visa Runners: Thai Immigration

Reports of a ‘crackdown’ on border runners along the Thai/Cambodian border first started surfacing over the weekend when several Thaivisa members posted about not being allowed to re-enter Thailand on visa-exempt entries.
On Monday evening, Thaivisa spoke to an Immigration officer based at Chaeng Wattana who confirmed that renewals of 15/30 day visa exempt entries are not allowed.
The source, who did not ……

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Bus Services Relocate As Work Begins On New Terminal

All buses are now operating out of two temporary stations to pave the way for the construction of a new 12-storey building to house the inner city bus station near the Morning Market in central Vientiane.
However, the relocation to an area near the existing site has led to traffic congestion in the area, causing members of the public to complain about the new arrangements.
Tuk-tuks must also be relocated as part of efforts to minimise the …..

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Luang Prabang Gets Aboard E-bus Project

The UNESCO World Heritage town Luang Prabang this week officially launched its E-Bus Project along with an electric vehicle station.
The E-bus Project currently involves over 30 electric buses including 14 buses provided as a grant from the Japanese government and around 20 buses operated by the Lao Green Company. The buses will be driven along …..

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Nong Khai Immigration Tightens Screening Measures

Immigration officials in Nong Khai province have exerted greater vigilance at the border checkpoint, as police continue to search for those behind the Ratchaprasong bombing.
Nong Khai Immigration Chief Police Colonel Panlop Suriyakul Na Ayutthaya has instructed police officers to be more rigorous in screening and monitoring foreign nationals that enter and leave Thailand. He singled out the …..

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Modern Ferry Terminal Planned For Vientiane

The Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department and the Chittaphong Group are working on the survey and design of a modern ferry terminal, to be built in front of the Landmark Hotel in Sisattanak district after being approved by the Mayor of Vientiane.
The ferry terminal will be a modern tourist facility and will also facilitate the import and export of goods between Laos and Thailand.
The development is likely to include a …..

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Vangvieng Visitors & Income Growing

The recent flooding has not affected revenue earning from tourism in the Vangvieng district of Vientiane province, while the number of tourists has continued to go up.
The restaurants, guesthouses and bungalows along the Nam Xong River have seen very little loss and they are now able to go all out again.
Well-known activities such as tubing, kayaking and boat tours on the Nam Xong have now returned to ……

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“Five Countries, One Destination”: Five Nations Jointly Market Their Tourism Industry

Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam have agreed to jointly market themselves as “Five Countries, One Destination” in a move to bring more tourists to the region and integrate their tourism industries.
The move will contribute to reinforcing the tourism campaign in Laos, allowing international tourists to know more about Laos and its incredible tourism sites through the united marketing campaign by ….

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Laos And China To Build Bridge To Thailand As Part Of Railway Project

Laos and China will jointly build a bridge linking the Southeast Asian nation with northeastern Thailand as part of a U.S. $7.2 billion high-speed railway project that has been delayed by numerous setbacks for more than four years, a Lao government official said.
Officials from both sides agreed to construct the bridge over the Mekong River to link Laos with Thailand’s Nong Khai province during a meeting in which they resolved to build the much-delayed rail line from Kunming in south China’s Yunnan province to the Lao capital Vientiane.
The decision was made when a Lao delegation led by …..

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Google Unveils First Street View Imagery Of Vientiane

Google Maps now offers 360 degree views of streets which form top attractions in the Lao capital for locals and tourists alike.
The new imagery allows users in Laos and around the world to view and navigate through 360-degrees of street-level imagery in the country’s capital city.
In areas where Street View is available, street-level imagery can be accessed by dragging the orange ‘Pegman’ icon on the right-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street. In the new Google Maps, people can also search for local destinations and, where available, access Street View imagery from the imagery carousel that sits at the ……

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ICAO Red-Flags Thailand’s Aviation Safety Standard

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Thursday “red flagged” Thailand for failing to solve significant safety concerns (SSC) on aviation standards within the 90-day deadline after receiving a warning.
The action follows an audit by representatives of the UN agency of the Department of Civil Aviation’s air transport safety certification for Thai-registered airlines in February.
The ICAO found conflict of interest in that the ….

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No Services To Attapeu Airport

Passengers hoping to fly to or out of Attapeu’s brand new international airport are in for a long wait as there are no firm plans to offer domestic flights.
Vientiane Times quoted Lao Airlines’ senior official, Phuttasone Vannasack, saying the airline had conducted a year-long survey of people who might want to fly between Vientiane and Attapeu, but very few responded positively so no flights are currently planned.
No surprises in the airline’s assessment, although critics may point out that the airline has ….

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Single Visa Now Available For Cambodia and Thailand

Cambodia and Thailand have joined hands to increase foreign and inter-ASEAN tourism under the “Two Kingdoms, One Destination” tourism pact.
Tith Chantha, secretary of state at Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, said Cambodia and Thailand have already created a single-visa option for tourists looking to explore both countries in one trip.
“Now, we’re joining with Thailand to promote Two Kingdoms, One Destination. It will make it much easier for tourists who don’t want to visit only one country during ……

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Edmonton Woman Wants Answers After Bloody Scene In Laos Airport

When Nara Pech called family in Canada for the last time, he said he was stuck at the Laos airport.
“They want me to leave the airport,” he said hurriedly, his voice recorded on a family member’s voicemail sometime after he was dropped off at the airport on Jan. 21.
“They don’t want anybody to know that I’m here. Tell them that the drivers, the taxi drivers, and everything are involved in this. The security guards, everybody. They’re trying to …..

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Body Found In Laos River Search: British Boat Tourist

A body has been found in the search for a missing woman who vanished after a boat capsized on a river trip in Laos, south-east Asia.
Johanna Powell, from Cardiff, was reported missing on Saturday. The 37-year-old, a BBC Wales picture editor, was on a tourist boat on the Mekong River near Pak Beng.
Her brother-in-law Dean Price said the family was told she was asleep when the boat hit a rock in rapids causing it to tip, take on water and ….

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The Elephant Caravan Laos 2015

A team of 12 elephants will walk about 630 km across the Xayaboury and Luang Prabang provinces, passing through elephant populated areas and cultural sites and disseminating both environmental education material and art performances in towns and villages.
Elephants are a source of pride for the Lao people and it is urgent to reactivate the public support for the species. On the road, the caravan will stop daily in villages it crosses. Theater, music and performances will be ….

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Luang Prabang Listed Among World’s 11 Most Romantic Wedding Destinations

Luang Prabang has been highlighted as a world-class popular tourist destination once again after an Australian travel website listed the World Heritage site among 11 of the world’s most romantic wedding destinations.
Laos’ well-known tourist destination was number five among the 11 destinations shown on the Qantas Travel Insider website.
Paris, France came first followed by ….

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Govt Plans To Say Goodbye To Wattay Airport

The Lao government expects that it will soon grant a licence to a local and a Chinese joint venture to carry out a feasibility study on the construction of a new international airport in Vientiane.
“The project will be about 35km from the city centre along Road No 13 South,” Mr Yakua said.
The study is expected to take at least two years to see if the area is suitable, after which the department will …..

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Elephant Festival Highlights Xayaboury’s Hidden Lifestyle

The annual elephant festival which took place over last weekend was successfully concluded leaving a lasting impression of the training the elephants had received and the skill of their mahouts.
The culture and lifestyle of the province was also prominently featured at the festival.The 9th annual elephant festival was held from February 13 to 15 at the stadium in Xayaboury district, Xayaboury province. It was officially opened on February 14 by Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and attended by other …..

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Chinese Tourists To Laos Rise Sharply, Drop in European, Japanese Hits Market’s High End

Laos will have to work harder to attract high-end tourists after decreasing arrivals from major sources Europe and Japan impacted the luxury end of the sector in 2014.
Arrivals from Europe and Japan declined in 2014 after consecutive increases over the previous four previous years from 2010.
The number of tourists from Europe travelling to Laos dropped slightly from …..

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Bangkok Sukhumvit Shakedown: Questioning Thai Police Integrity

It was about 9pm on a weeknight in March last year, and Mat, an American business consultant, was trying to hail a taxi on Sukhumvit Soi 36 when he was stopped by six policemen on motorcycles.
Mat was completely sober, drug-free and dressed like a typical foreigner, in a T-shirt, cargo shorts and flip flops.
“You smoke ganja mai?” one of the officers asked, referring to marijuana, while pressing his index finger and thumb to mimic smoking a joint. Without asking permission, the officers removed …..

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Vietnamese Bank Official (Almost) Makes Off With Lao Buddha Statue

A Vietnamese bank executive managed to get his hands on a Buddhist statue believed to be about 500 years old from a Lao Buddhist temple in the capital Vientiane—but only for five hours.
It all started last year when the chairman and general director of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) headquartered in Hanoi, visited Ongtue Wat in Mixay village near the Mekong River in the capital’s Chanthaburi district. He was accompanied by a ….

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Lane Xang Avenue To Have Makeover

The Lane Xang Avenue improvement and beautification project is set to kick off once a feasibility study has been completed under the supervision of Vientiane authorities.
The project will include the construction of symbols relevant to the history of Vientiane’s main thoroughfare such as elephants, while electricity poles will be painted green in line with one of the city’s official slogans.
Other related works include repaving the sidewalks, painting ……

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Bangkok Shakedown: Tourists Report Increased Harassment By Police

Over recent weeks there has been a sharp increase in reports of police harassment, intimidation and flat-out extortion in the Sukhumvit area, usually between Thong Lor and Asoke. While stories of the Bangkok police engaging in less than exemplary behavior are not new, and no official statistics for ‘on-the-spot fines’ exist, there does seem to be a policy of targeting foreign males in prime tourist areas at the …..

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Ascott Opens First Somerset Serviced Residence In Laos

CapitalLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has opened Somerset Vientiane, its first serviced residence in Laos, after completing the first phase of a progressive refurbishment and rebranding exercise for the former Parkview Executive Suites.
The official opening of Somerset Vientiane took place on Tuesday evening in the capital.
Somerset Vientiane is the first international branded serviced residence in the ….

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Americans In Thailand Warned After Release Of CIA Report

Release of U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation Program:
U.S. citizens in Thailand should be aware that release of declassified versions of the executive summary, findings, and conclusions of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report of the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program could prompt anti-U.S. protests and violence against U.S. interests, including private U.S. citizens.
U.S. citizens should pay attention to their surroundings and take ….

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Vangvieng Considering New Party Precinct, Safety Permitting

Authorities in Vangvieng district of Vientiane province are now considering the establishment of a specially zoned area for entertainment venues and late night trading, according to district officials.
“We are now working on the outline of a plan for zoning a specific entertainment venue precinct where visitors can enjoy food, drinks and partying 24 hours a day,” Vanvieng Tourism Office Head told …..

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Thailand Wants Wristbands, Curfews & Electronic Tracking Devices For Tourists

Thailand’s tourism minister said on Tuesday that identification wristbands would be distributed to tourists following the murder of two British backpackers earlier this month that has raised fresh concerns over tourist safety.
Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said she had approached hotels over the idea of handing out wristbands to help identify ….

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Lao Coffee Festival 2014

To celebrate the tremendous development of the Lao coffee sector and to further promote the unique Lao coffee to the domestic and foreign markets, Lao Coffee Association is organizing the 1st Lao Coffee Festival, from 24 – 26 October 2014 at the Arawan Riverside Hotel and Champasak Grand Hotel in Pakse.
The Lao Coffee Festival will include various activities like exhibition of Lao coffee products, seminars on topics on production background of Lao coffee, present state of the world coffee trade, trends in prices, production ….

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J&C Services’ 6th Anniversary Special Package “Luang Prabang”

During the month of September J&C will celebrate its 6th anniversary with special promotions and offers for our clients and readers.
Our first promotion is a Special Package Deal offering a 3 night stay at Hotel Villa Deux Rivieres in Luang Prabang. Located in the heart of Luang Prabang, the ancient former capital of Laos, this unique boutique hotel is situated in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage area, with the main historical places of interest and attractions within walking distance.
The J&C Special Package includes:

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Inpeng Culture & Entertainment Park: Vientiane’s Newest Attraction

The National Ethnic Cultural Park (NECP) has been transformed and is now called “Inpeng Culture & Entertainment Park” which includes a large water park with beer gardens, restaurants, cafes, souvenir stores and a museum as well as the former Ethnic Cultural Park.
Our J&C team spent a fun day at the new water park, which includes many different pools, all of them with different sizes & shapes, and also different depths; there are also pools dedicated to …..

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Kiwis Caught With Fake Notes Drawn At Vientiane International Airport

Two young women from New Zealand narrowly escaped spending three months in a Thai prison after they were found in possession of counterfeit American dollars.
Casey Hanson, 21, and her friend Megan Taylor, 24, said the group withdrew US$1000 (NZ$1135) at Vientiane International Airport in Laos on June 30 and US$300 of that was changed into kip, the local currency. The group spent seven days in the country before travelling to Bangkok where Hanson and Taylor exchanged US$100 into Thai baht before heading to a mall to exchange a further US$500. At the mall, red flags were raised about the authenticity of ….

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No More Visa Runs: Thailand

FOREIGNERS WHO do regular visa runs in order to extend their stay in Thailand have less than a month before a crackdown by the authorities to enforce immigration laws more strictly.
From August 13, people will not be able to re-enter the country, regardless of their choice of transport.
The Immigration Bureau has already instructed officials to deny entry to foreigners doing visa runs as a measure to stop the …..

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Bangkok Warns Of Risk Of Legionnaire’s Disease

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) yesterday urged hotels and shopping malls to clean their air-conditioning systems as a precaution after a recent random check found that several hotels had legionella bacteria, which could pose a risk of respiratory diseases.
BMA explained that a random check on hotels, malls and cinema theatres had found some premises with dust, bacteria and fungi, but ….

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Rocket Festival Stirs Flight Safety Fears

Lao Airlines sought permission from Aerothai to change its flight paths in Thailand during the Buddhist Lent festival due to safety concerns
Aeronautical Radio of Thailand (Aerothai) wants stricter measures put in place to limit the height of traditional bang fai, or Isan rockets, to make it safer for aircraft.
The agency is increasingly concerned with threats to aircraft safety posed by illegally modified rockets, which can reach as high as ….

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Tough Choices Ahead for Laos Tourism

The country of Laos, a virtual hermit nation until 1986 when it opened its doors to tourism is now finding it very difficult to control the reigns of the tourism chariot its mounted. According to the country’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism some 3,779,490 foreign tourists arrived in Laos last year, a year that the government had set a target of 3.4 million for.
So high were 2013’s arrivals that they even exceeded the forecast for 2015 (3,750,000 visitors). Since 84 percent of those visitors were short haul travelers from neighboring countries, the yield hasn’t matched the …..

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Tourism Potential Draws Top Hotel Chains To Laos

At least 40 hotels, including five international chains, are scheduled to open in Laos over the next five years as the country becomes a more popular tourist destination.
IInternational brands Ramada, InterContinental, Crown Plaza, Sofitel and Marriott are set to open hotels in the capital by 2019. Three global brands – Mercure, Ibis and Best Western – have already opened their doors in Vientiane, and one regional brand has entered the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang.
Furthermore, 25-30 three- and four-star hotels are set to open in the capital, with some in ….

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Hip Hideaways: Laos’ Premier Boutique Hotels

With tourism on the rise in Laos, more and more distinctive hotels are opening their doors to visitors seeking impeccable hospitality, with flair and comfort to match. Take advantage of the current low-season price points to beat the crowds for a stylish escape at a luxurious getaway, right on your doorstep.
Whether you’re looking to pamper yourself with a signature spa treatment, laze by the pool with cocktail in-hand, or relax after a day of adventure, Sabaidee Magazine has handpicked a few of the country’s most exquisitely placed and unique ……

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Travellers Warned Of Violent Bag Snatching And Muggings In Laos

The UK Foreign Office has warned travellers of a rise in violent bag snatching and muggings in Laos, a country known for its traditional values and sleepy atmosphere
The idea that tourists are increasingly becoming the targets of crime is perturbing but coincides with a growing interest in visiting the landlocked country.
“Petty crime, including bag snatching, occurs frequently and is becoming increasingly violent, especially in tourist areas….

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Centara Moves Into Laos With 5-star Grand Hotel In Downtown Vientiane

Leading Thai hotel operator Centara Hotels & Resorts is to have its first hotel in Laos in 2017 with the opening of the luxurious five-star Centara Grand Hotel Vientiane.
Located in the downtown district of the Laotian capital of Vientiane, the hotel will be designed in a French colonial style. Centara will manage the new-build property under a management contract.
The hotel is owned by a well-known Laotian company and is being developed under ….

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