Update: 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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Chinese Constructors Complete Foundations Of Mekong River Rail Bridges

The concrete casting for the last pier understructure of LuangPrabangrailway bridge has been successfully completed, laying down all the foundation construction work of the two cross-Mekong River super major bridges along the China-Laos railway.

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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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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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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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Will Costs Continue To Cage Laos’ Regional Connectivity?

Laos is among the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia: economic growth has averaged 7.8 per cent over the past decade. Despite the slow recovery of the global economy, the country’s growth rate was 6.9 per cent in 2017 and is expected to be 7 per cent in 2018. This is buoyed by an expansion in electricity production, manufacturing and agriculture, and it occurs despite a slight drop in tourist arrivals.

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High-speed Rail Project Will Force Thousands of Lao Families to Relocate

More than 4,400 Lao families are being forced to relocate to make way for the U.S. $6 billion Lao-Chinese high-speed railway whose construction began nearly a year ago as part of a longer rail project that will link China to mainland Southeast Asia, a public works ministry official said.

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Thai Motor Insurance With Free 24h Emergency Roadside Service … now available at J&C Services

When traveling in Thailand and your car breaks down, you run out of gas or you’re locked out, AXA Roadside Assistance helps make it simple and easy to get back on the road and on your way. This unique service is part of our new auto-insurance policy for Thailand, only available at J&C Services.

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Do’s & Don’t If You Have An Accident In Laos

For foreigners, driving in Laos can be very different to driving in their home country. Motorbike riders frequently drive on the wrong side of the road and cars do not always respect Lao road rules. Those new to the country will need to take great care to avoid accidents.
If an accident does occur, here are some tips on what to do & not to do:

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Thai Vans Operating On Thai-Lao Border Fully Comply With Traffic Laws

Ahead of the Songkran Festival, all vans operating across the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai have been improved to meet safety requirements.
In compliance with traffic regulations being imposed during the Songkran holiday period, van operators providing services across the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge have made necessary adjustments to their…..

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Police Enforce Seatbelt Rule Ahead Of Lao New Year

Too many drivers seem to believe that seatbelts are an unnecessary option on this side of the Mekong, but it may be time to think again as Vientiane traffic police gear up to enforce safety regulations and fine rule breakers 70,000 kip.
Traffic police plan to fine drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts in order to reduce fatalities and serious injuries from ….

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High-Speed Rail On Track To Connect Vientiane To The Region

On the outskirts of the Lao capital, a blue passenger train rattles from its station and across a dry landscape.
Reverberating sirens ring out as boom gates block a nearby road, a handful of motorcyclists almost bemused by the misfortune of being made to wait.
This is the only operating railway in the entire country. The connector with Thailand spans just 3.5km of Laos itself before ……

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Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Urges CLMVT Master Plan

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, the new drivers for Asean and Asian economic growth, should come up with a joint master plan for connectivity and key infrastructure development to strengthen the region’s competitiveness, says Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
“Given a combined population of 230 million people and average economic growth of 6-8%, the five countries are …

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Almost 9,000 Newly Registered Vehicles in Only Two Months

There have been almost 9,000 newly registered vehicles in the first two months of this year thanks to ongoing socio-economic growth.
The Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department disclosed this week that in only two months from January to February, there were 8,972 newly registered vehicles bringing the total number of newly registered vehicles in Vientiane Capital to ….

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First Pilots Graduate From Lao Civil Aviation Flight Training Centre

Director of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Mr Vanpheng Chanthaphone and Vice President of the Swiss NGO PACTEC International Mr Gerald Bourgeois last month gave the first professional pilots trained in Laos their wings.
The six students – including one young woman – started their training at the Civil Aviation Flight Training Centre (CAFTC) in Vientiane in ….

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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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Laos-Thailand Railway Link Set For Expansion Next Year

Phase II of the Laos-Thailand railway, which will see the line extended from the suburbs to central Vientiane, is set to resume after the project was suspended in 2011.
The line will be built over a distance of 7.5km to link the track from the outlying Thanalaeng railway station in Hadxaifong district to the inner city.
The extension will link Thanalaeng railway station on the …..

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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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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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With AirAsia, Now Everyone Can Fly Direct To Kuala Lumpur From Luang Prabang

AirAsia, the truly Asean airline announced a brand new route connecting Luang Prabang in Laos directly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with four times weekly flights commencing 21 November 2016.
AirAsia is the first and only airline to operate direct flights from Luang Prabang to Kuala Lumpur. This will be the airline group’s 70th intra-Asean route connecting all ten Asean countries, as well as ….

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Overloaded School Taxi-Trucks Cause Public Outcry

The Vientiane Traffic Police Department and local officials are issuing a joint warning to the drivers of tuk-tuks and pickup trucks who regularly ferry schoolchildren to and from classes each day at secondary schools in Naxaithong district.
Children’s parents expressed serious concern after seeing a photo of a large group of students piled onto a school taxi-truck on …..

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Laos-China Railway Construction To Begin in December

Construction of a historic railway linking Vientiane to the Chinese border over a distance of 427 km is expected to begin in December this year, an official in charge has said.
Agreements with six Chinese construction companies and six consultancy firms will be finalised next month which will pave the way for the start of construction at the end of…..

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Traffic Police Out In Force Ahead Of Asean Summits

Traffic police will out in force ensuring roads run smoothly ahead of the arrival of high ranking regional delegations attending Asean Summits next month in Vientiane, according to a leading official.
Vientiane Traffic Police Department told media this week that with Laos hosting the back-to-back 28th and 29th Asean Summits all officials are working hard to make sure there are no major ……

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Southern Bus Station Set To Depart This Month

The relocation of the southern bus station in Vientiane to a new site is set to begin this month, with the process expected to be completed by September, according to an official.
The site of the new bus station on the 450 Year Road in Saphanmeuk village, Xaythany district is about 700 m from the present one.
The construction of the new station is …..

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Import Tariff Reductions Have Little Impact On Vehicle Prices

The prices of vehicles in Laos remain high even though import tariffs on many products including vehicles have been reduced to five percent, much to the disappointment of recent purchasers.
Deputy Director of the Foreign Trade Policy Department, Mr Saysana Sayakone told Vientiane Times recently that the prices of vehicles will remain rather high as buyers still have to pay consumer tax.
He explained that the Lao PDR had begun to reduce …..

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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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On Southwestern Fringe, China’s Silk Road Ambitions Face Obstacles

For the southwestern city of Kunming, China’s plan to extend a high-speed rail link 3,000 km (1,875 miles) south to Singapore is already a boon: pristine expressways, a gleaming station and something of a real estate boom, as young buyers crowd property showrooms.
In Laos, work has yet to start on what should be the first overseas leg of a rail line stretching throughout Southeast Asia. The country, one of the region’s poorest, could struggle to finance even part of the …

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Laos To Upgrade Air Traffic Services

In line with government plans and the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Laos is planning to update air traffic services in many respects.
This includes air traffic controllers’ training, upgrading navigation aids and aviation meteorological aids, revising and publishing regulations and operational manuals, as well as improving ……

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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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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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Hospital Struggling With Influx Of Road Accident Victims

Mittaphab Hospital is struggling to cope with a dramatic surge in demand for orthopaedic surgery caused by increasing numbers of road accident victims seeking treatment.
Last year overall in the capital there were approximately 50-60 road accidents per day but this had doubled to around 100-120 per day this year. Of the accident victims 80 percent were treated for …

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More People Die On Vientiane’s Roads

Four people were killed and six others sustained critical injuries in road accidents in the capital over the two-day period from September 9-10.
According to the Vientiane Traffic Police Department, a pick-up truck carrying 17 students overturned on Thursday morning in Donnoun village, Xaythany district, killing two passengers and seriously injuring six others. Other passengers were also injured in the accident. Police said the driver …..

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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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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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Fuel Prices Drop For The Second Time This Month

The retail prices of fuel at petrol stations around the country dropped for a second time this month.
The petrol prices dropped around 60 kip per litre and the diesel prices went down by about 140 kip per litre, which will be good news for general consumers and farmers now in the rice planting season.
In Vientiane, petrol stations are now selling premium petrol for 9,430 kip a litre, regular grade petrol for…..

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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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Vehicle Registration Sees Increase Of 31,000 To June

The number of registered vehicles in Vientiane has increased by over 31,000 units in the first six months of this year, or an average of 5,000 units per month, a local newspaper reported on Monday.
The number increased by an average of 5,000 units per month. It has been observed that the number of passenger vehicles in the city has increased constantly when compared to the same period last year.
When compared to the over 850,000 people living in the city, it means over three out of every four people, including men, women, and …..

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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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First MERS Case In Thailand

The Public Health Ministry yesterday announced the first MERS case in Thailand after laboratory tests confirmed that a foreign visitor had contracted the deadly virus,.
The patient was understood to have contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in a foreign country, before arriving in Thailand, where he was diagnosed.
The patient, a 75-year-old man from an Arab country, has reportedly had contact with up to 59 people since arriving on Monday. He was also undergoing treatment for ….

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Bigger Bikes Seized After Taxes Unpaid

More than 10 larger capacity motorbikes with unpaid taxes have been seized following an inspection that began last week in a move to regulate the issue, tax officials have said.
According to the regulations, bikes whose engines exceed 250cc are not allowed to be imported into Laos but in reality many can be seen on the roads.
“Our duty is to inspect and seize those illegal bikes. What to do further with the seized bikes will be ……

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Vientiane Pilots One-Way System On Fa Ngum Road

The Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department is trialing a one-way road scheme in a bid to ease traffic congestion on one of the busiest sections of Fa Ngum Road, which runs alongside the Mekong River in the Sithan-neua area.
The one-way section begins at the T-junction in front of the Mercure hotel on Souphanouvong Road and runs eastwards along Fa Ngum Road to the T-junction at Pakpasak College, over a distance of …..

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Vientiane Cracks Down On Illegal Parking

The Public Works and Transport Department, traffic police and the Vientiane Urban Development Administration Authority are cracking down on illegal parking in order to address traffic congestion in Vientiane.
The new initiative outlawing double-parking began on June 2 and is also focusing on eliminating unofficial parking concessions in this area.
In particular, authorities announced they are targeting the section of Nongbone Road from the bus station to the traffic lights at …..

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Attapeu International Airport Opens

Lao President Choummaly Sayasone and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang opened the new Attapeu International Airport on Saturday in a bid to promote trade, investment and tourism.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, President Choummaly said the new airport was part of government efforts to develop transport and communications infrastructure in Laos.
“This airport is a significant project in spurring socio-economic development, attracting investment and boosting ….

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Vientiane Rescue Team Recovers Bodies Of Six Missing Children

The bodies of six of the 10 schoolchildren who were feared drowned after a makeshift ferry capsized in the Nam Ngum on Tuesday have been recovered by rescue teams from Laos and Thailand.
The children, aged 10-12, were pupils at local primary schools. Rescue teams have been scouring the river in search of the missing youngsters after the boat capsized in Pakngum district, Vientiane.
The teams resumed their search yesterday morning but were hampered by strong currents. They eventually found the body of ….

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10 Students Missing After Nam Ngum Ferry Capsizes

Eight girls and two boys were missing yesterday after a small ferry consisting of two wooden longboats capsized while crossing the Nam Ngum river in Pakngum district, Vientiane.
The missing children were primary school pupils from Nabong village who cannot swim well and were crossing the river to take their final year exams at a school in Thakokhai village.
A local resident who asked not to be named told Vientiane Times the ferry was carrying about 40 people, including the skipper, villagers, ……

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Road Upgrades Slated Ahead Of Asean Summit

Vientiane authorities will upgrade roads in the city centre as part of preparations for Laos’ hosting of the Asean Summit next year.
The upgrade will be funded through a loan from China amounting to 60 million yuan (about 78.73 billion kip). Under the project, a 2km section of road between the Dongdok and Tanmixay traffic lights will be resurfaced with concrete and widened to 22 metres, with the work contracted to a Chinese company.
The project is currently at the design and …..

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Bike Racers Being Reined In, Police Say

Police officers have responded to public complaints that they are not out on the streets at night to stop youths from racing motorbikes and disturbing the peace in central Vientiane.
Chief of the Commando Security Team at the Vientiane Police Headquarters, Lieutenant Colonel Khamphiew Vatthanaphone, said yesterday they wanted the public to know that they’re working on the problem every day, especially at weekends.
“Today we arrested some members of one group but by tomorrow there will be another group making trouble on …..

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Express Bus Services Planned For Vientiane

Vientiane State Bus Enterprise has plans for express nonstop services along three main routes within the city.
The planned services will not stop to pick up people en route, meaning that passengers will ride from their departure point all the way without stopping until the bus arrives at its final destination.
The three routes are between the main bus station and Dongdok, the bus station and the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and from the …..

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Long Queues To Pay Road Tax

People in Vientiane are facing a long queue when they go to pay road tax this year as they need to register the vehicle’s information.
The new service for paying road tax began in the middle of last month in each District Finance Office in the city plus a road tax centre in Naxay village of Xaysetha district.
“Many people are complaining about the long queues as last year there was much less …..

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Road Tax 2015: New Procedures

The Ministry of Finance is informing all vehicle owners that the Road Tax Sticker for 2015 is now available and that it needs to be purchased for all vehicles. The sticker is valid for the calendar year 2015. Further a penalty of 10% per month for purchasing the sticker after 31st May is imposed.
In addition J&C Services has been informed that the procedures to purchase the Road Tax Sticker 2015 have changed as following: …..

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Govt Plates Must Be Removed From Private Vehicles

The government has instructed officials to remove state-owned number plates from private vehicles which previously belonged to the state and car owners must pay customs, tax and other fees.
Those vehicles provided to administrative-level officials of state departments, state funds, and state enterprises are required to have their ownership rights changed after the officials retire, or the vehicles must be returned to the ……

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More Countries Join Japan, Korea In Restricting Thai Carriers

The “dominoes” that Transport Minister Prajin Juntong worried would begin falling over a global safety warning about Thailand’s aviation industry have indeed begun to tumble, with China and South Korea now banning new Thai-registered flights and Singapore imposing strict inspections.
The moves by China and South Korea follow a ban by Japan on new flights and aircraft changes by …..

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Parking Your Car in Laos

For those new to Laos, heading out in your car for the first time can be a daunting experience. Traffic rules differ to other countries and there are a lot of new driving techniques to learn. Parking can also be very confusing because of special rules and regulations unique to Laos.
In Vientiane and other cities there are …..

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Vientiane To Set Up Sustainable Transport System: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $35 million loan to help finance a bus rapid transit system and other transport innovations to improve traffic flows in Vientiane, the fast growing capital of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
“The project will create a pedestrian-friendly urban transport system in a city where two-thirds of daily trips are taken on motorbikes and public transport accounts for less than 1% of daily ……

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Missing Manhole Covers Continue To Cause Concern

Many manholes and drainage covers can be seen to be missing throughout the capital, putting lives in danger and resulting in damage to motor vehicles.
The uncovered manholes are also being used as a dumping ground for household rubbish, which threatens to clog the drains in question when the rainy season arrives.
The uncovered manholes and missing drain covers are especially dangerous in areas that are poorly lit as motorists and pedestrians have little chance of ……

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19-Year-Old Poised To Become Laos’ First Female Pilot

Many women are taking on non-traditional roles as new career opportunities open up for them, showing they are equal to men in terms of ability.
One example is a young woman named Ms Phinanong Leusasinh, aged just 19, of Nongping village in Chanthabouly district, Vientiane, who recently made her first solo flight.
The solo flight, which is made without an instructor on board, is a milestone in the pilot training course. Last week Ms Phinanong was one of six trainees who took the controls of a …..

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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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Saviours of the Street – Vientiane Rescue

When French paramedic Sebastian Perret witnessed a fatal accident in the Laos capital, Vientiane, in 2010, he was shocked that no ambulance came to help.
Every day, four people die in road crashes across Laos, giving the country one of the region’s worst road fatalities per capita in the region. Many more are injured but most cannot afford to pay a government ambulance to help them.
Unable to ignore the plight of the city’s road crash victims, Perret set up Vientiane Rescue, a volunteer ……

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Lao Airports Ready For Asean Flights

Laos has developed four major airports to Asean standards, which will provide linkages or hubs in the region for air transport and transit services, and facilitate regional production networks, trade and investment, and tourism.
The government has selected airports in Vientiane and the provinces of Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak as Asean airports.
“These four have been selected because they meet international standards and …..

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Fuel Prices To Keep On Dropping

Petroleum operators expect fuel prices will continue to drop for the next few months after seeing prices go down since the beginning of the year.
The government has lowered the prices of premium, regular petrol and diesel in Vientiane and five provinces effective last Friday. “It is the third time for a fuel price reduction this year,” an official of …..

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Laos & Japan Sign Air Service Agreement

The governments of Lao PDR and Japan signed an Air Service Agreement in Vientiane Capital on 16 January.
“This singing is a landmark for civil aviation cooperation between the Lao PDR and Japan,” said Director General of the Civil Aviation Department, Mr Yakua Lopangkao.
“It’s a fundamental event for civil aviation cooperation, particularly the opening of direct fights between the two countries in order to facilitate the …..

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The Exploding Accident Rate In Vientiane

The number of Lao people killed in road accidents is greater than the figure of those killed by bomb attacks in Pakistan, to make a somewhat bloody comparison.
The bomb attacks in Pakistan hit the international headlines daily as innocent lives are lost. Meanwhile here in Laos people are dying every day but their deaths go largely unreported.
In Laos it is not bomb attacks taking lives but traffic accidents. In 2013, 873 people were …..

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Laos Rail Development On Fast Track With Thailand, China Line

An agreement between Thailand and China on the construction of a new rail line linking the two countries has put the spotlight on Laos, the country this proposed railway would pass through.
Thailand and China has agreed to cooperate on building a new rail line, which would eventually connect Southern China with Bangkok. This initiative has put the spotlight on Laos, the country this proposed railway would pass …..

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Speeding Truck Kills British Tourist In Champassak

The driver of a truck trailer has been detained by Champassak provincial police after the vehicle overturned and killed a British tourist in Pakxong district on Tuesday.
The truck was carrying a container loaded with timber and was travelling from Xekong province to Pakxe district in Champassak province.
The truck was descending a hill near to a crossroads at …..

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175 People Killed In Vientiane Road Accidents

A total of 175 people died from road accidents in Vientiane during the 2013-14 fiscal year; a major loss of lives when compared to other causes of premature death.
The fatality rate from road accidents has sparked rising concerns across society that the government needs to come up with stronger and concrete measures to deal with the problem.
According to the report, over 1,470 road accidents took place in Vientiane in the 12 months to September 30 with 175 deaths (of which 38 were …..

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All Passenger Vehicles Should Carry Fire Extinguishers, Officials Warn

Officials from the Vientiane Fire Fighting Department cautioned yesterday that all vehicles, in particular passenger vehicles, should install fire extinguishers to be prepared for possible emergencies.
The announcement comes after a bus caught fire in Borikhamxay province last Saturday. Local traffic official Captain Saenxay Bousayakham said the bus was a private bus from the southern terminal bus station in Vientiane heading to ……

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Traffic Chaos In Vientiane After Morning Deluge

Torrential rain in Vientiane yesterday morning caused traffic chaos on the second day of the new school year as flooded streets and sidewalks caused further delays on the already congested streets.
The storm was fairly localised but the rain was so heavy that many of the city’s roads and houses were soon flooded, making the many potholes even more difficult to navigate than usual.
Many streets in Vientiane were soon blocked with traffic as …

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Reckless Driving Responsible For Road Fatalities

Almost 90 people die in road accidents each month in Laos and the figure is rising at an alarming rate so amidst increasing public concern the government needs to enhance its efforts to deal with the issue.
In only seven months of this year, a total of 3,390 road accidents were reported in Laos with 599 deaths and 5,657 injured, according to police report this week.
The largest number of fatalities was reported in Vientiane with …..

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Govt Approves Rapid Bus Lane Project

The government has approved the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in a move to improve and speed up the public transport system and mitigate traffic congestion in Vientiane.
Construction works are expected to begin in the 2017-18 fiscal year, with completion slated for the end of 2018.
Under the project plan, the Vientiane public transport network, also known as the BRT network, will be 84km long and will include ….

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Manhole Covers Stolen For Scrap Metal Value

Residents in Vientiane are suspecting their fellow residents may be the culprits in the spate of thefts of manhole covers which they believe are being sold to scrap metal dealers.
Others believe that scrap metal buyers who ride motorcycle-driven carts round the city seeking people’s unwanted bits of metal, could be the problem.
So far, nobody can say for sure who is responsible as no theft has actually been observed. Last week a cover on the road in Sokpaluang village in Sisattanak district was stolen, but no one ….

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Govt May Re-Impose Vehicle Quota

The government may re-impose a vehicle quota system as part of efforts to curb the rising number of vehicles in Vientiane.
An official told local media recently the government had assigned the ministry to develop concrete measures to cut down the rising number of vehicles in the country, one of the causes of traffic congestion in major cities.
The official said that under the quota system, the ministry will be able to ban imports of ….

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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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Fatal Head-On Deadly Reminder To Slowdown

Traffic officials have urged motorists to slow down after a horrible road accident in Savannakhet last weekend which killed two people instantly and left three others seriously injured.
The fatal crash happened on Road No. 13 South in Kaenghaed village, Xaybouly district, Savannakhet province on July 21.
An official said this was the first time such a horrible accident had occurred in the area. He reported that one of the vehicles was travelling at a very high speed and the driver lost control.
“The SUV hit with great force head-on, killing the SUV’s driver and a Vigo passenger instantly and leaving three …..

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Transport Ministry Considers Bus Lanes, Walking Streets For A Greener Vientiane

A significant number of Vientiane residents have expressed their support for an urban sustainable transport system the Ministry of Public Works and Transport is working on.
The project aims to establish special Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes along 84 kilometres of Vientiane’s public roads, beginning with the Wattay International Airport to Patuxay route.
The Inpeng temple to Nam Phou fountain section of Setthathirath Road will be reallocated for public buses and non-motorised transport only, while François Nginn and Pangkham roads will be …..

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Vientiane Canal To Expand Car Parking

The Pakpasak canal between Vat Chan Village and Sihom Village, Chanthabouly District, Vientiane will be developed and covered with a car park in an effort to solve the downtown parking crisis.
Parking over the canal will be able to accommodate 200 cars by 2015.
This is the second such venture by Ms Thipphaphone, whose company is also constructing the seven floor car parking facility near ….

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Lao Leaders Pay Respect For Those Died From The Plane Crash

President Choummaly Sayasone, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other high-ranking officials laid wreaths yesterday to pay their respects to the leaders who passed away from the plane crash on Saturday (May, 17).
According to the Ministry of National Defence, the Lao airforce AN-74TK-300 aircraft carrying 17 people on a special flight from Vientiane crashed near Xieng Khuang airport on Saturday morning (around 7am local time). There are three survivors and 14 deceased.
Prominent leaders were aboard the plan and were on their way to

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Lao Military Plane With Defense Chief Crashes

A Laotian air force plane with at least 14 people on board crashed on Saturday, a defense ministry source said, and a witness at the site said the defense minister was among the dead.
“A Laos air force plane has crashed on its way to Xiang Khouang province in the north of the country. The mayor of Vientiane, the defense minister of Laos and his wife were on board,” the official told Reuters by telephone.
Also killed were the governor of ….

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Road Tax Is Back Again !

Despite previous announcements by the Ministry of Finance that the collection of the road tax has been abolished, J&C Services has just been informed by the authorities that the road tax is back in force again.
The Ministry of Finance informs all vehicle owners that the Road Tax Sticker for 2014 is now available as from 1st May 2014 and that it needs to be purchased for all vehicles. The sticker is valid for …

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Spike In Fatal High Speed Crashes: Vientiane

Vientiane traffic police reported more than 30 road accidents in Vientiane last week, including six fatalities. Among the latest accidents involves a sport car which crashed into an electricity pole and tree at the Setthathirath Road in Xiengngeun village, Vientiane in the early morning of April 27.
The 21-year old driver sustained critical wounds and later died in hospital. The passenger also …..

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Night Bus Adventure In Laos

Vientiane, Laos. I descend from my tuk-tuk at the dusty north bus station, needing to get to Luang Prabang. Bad news. The sleeping bus is full, which means I’m in for ten hours of the VIP bus, which in retrospect can be none other than an acronym for Voluntary Imposition of Pain. At least for me it is, as I have a difficult time sleeping on any bus. The ‘sleeping bus,’ however, does sport a large enough berth for you to lay flat and get some rest. VIP not the case, at least for a tall creature like myself. And surprisingly the sleeping bus is only …..

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Surging Vehicle Numbers Intensify Congestion In The Capital

The number of vehicles in Vientiane continues to rise, intensifying congestion on roads in the capital despite the expansion of the road network in the capital.
In 2013, the number of registered vehicles reached 66,500, an increase of more than 5,300 vehicles compared to the year 2012.
Government officials attributed the rising number of vehicles to several factors, including the country’s …..

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Lao-Thai Train To Provide Logistic Services In 2015

Logistic facilities at Thanalaeng Train Station in Vientiane have begun to take shape after eight months of construction, according to a Lao railway official.
The Lao Railway Authority’s Railway Management Division Chief, Mr Somsana Rasaphone said recently that the new facilities, which will enable the train station to provide freight services, are now some 23 percent complete.
Construction of the container yard and lifting facilities at the train station began at the end of last year and was scheduled to be completed within 18 months. The Lao government hopes to open the rail freight service ahead of the establishment of …

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Laos, China Vow To Push Railway Project Forward

Laos and China have confirmed they will push forward with the Lao-Chinese railway project while the two countries are still looking for an effective method of cooperation that serves their mutual interest.
The Lao and Chinese governments have come up with a plan to build the 421km railway, which would link Vientiane to the Laos-China border in the coming years.
The Lao side also suggested that China should expand its investment in hydro and lignite power plants as well as provide loans for irrigation development in the central provinces in order to ensure ….

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Creating Vientiane Bus Lanes Will Encourage More Passengers

More people will choose to ride on public buses in Vientiane if there are designated bus lanes on roads.
Transportation on two or four-lane roads in Vientiane is currently open to all general vehicles. However, Vientiane Public Works and Transport department has plans to create bus lanes to allow public transport to cut through traffic congestion.
If public transport could operate services more efficiently keeping to bus timetables, especially during rush hours, then many more people would take public buses in preference to cars, decreasing overall traffic.
“We have 129 public buses including 42 new Japanese buses and this is enough to cover the roads in ….

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Wattay Airport To Undergo Major Expansion

Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport will expand both its international and domestic terminals so they can handle about 1,000 passengers per hour in 2018.
The Vientiane International Airport Terminal Expansion Project is aimed at meeting increased passenger demand.
The expansion would see the construction of another two-storey building on a plot measuring almost 2,100 sq metres, which would connect with the present terminal.
A new two-storey building will be built to house the ….

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Lao Skyway Launches More Flights North

Lao Skyway, formerly Lao Air, has launched four more flights to Northern provinces Luang Prabang, Bokeo, Oudomxay, and Luangnamtha.
The company would operate its new routes with MA-60s, a small plane which can accommodate 56 passengers, providing charter flights at reasonable prices.
Lao Skyway said that new flights to the Northern provinces would be available from …..

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Quick Lane going for the Quick Buck ?

It’s now already several weeks since the struts of my Toyota’s rear hatch went toast … visible prove is that Band-Aid on my forehead 🙂
Time to put new ones, but where to get them ? Of course the first place to check is the Toyota dealership between Patuxay and the Vietnamese Embassy. At my first visit Toyota quoted Baht 4’180, which includes …..

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Import of Bigger Motorbikes Approved

The Lao government will now allow the importation of motorcycles with engine capacities of greater than 250 cc’s, lifting a previous ban on the bikes as part of efforts to comply with World Trade Organisation obligations.
In the past, the government banned imports of motorcycles with engine capacities of greater than 250cc’s in an effort to prevent criminals utilising high powered bikes to evade arrest by the police.
Laos has no more reasons to ban the import of the vehicles since the country became a member of …..

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Retailers Of Dirty Fuel Set To Be Closed Soon

Fuel stations in Laos will soon be required to guarantee the quality of their fuel or face fines or closure, with a specially dedicated fuel testing centre set to be established in the country.
The move comes as the owners of luxury vehicles have sought assurances from fuel retailers as to the quality of their fuels, following concerns that some fuel sold in Laos does not meet the required standards.
The project, to be jointly implemented by the ministry and the private company, will cost US$1.5 million and will be funded by ….

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Laos Breaks Ground On Railway Project Linking Thailand to Vietnam

Laos has broken ground on an ambitious high-speed railway project linking the country’s western border with Thailand to Vietnam and is likely to begin full construction this month.
Giant Consolidated, a Malaysian company that will construct and operate the 220-kilometer (140-mile) railway, held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the laying of the “foundation” for the project last month in Savannakhet
Malaysia’s Giant was in November 2012 awarded a contract to construct and operate the railway from Savannakhet, on Laos’s southwestern border with Thailand, to the Lao Bao border gate with ……

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New Fleet Of Busses With Electronic Ticketing To Tackle Vientiane Traffic

A new fleet of public buses will be urgently put into operation with an electronic ticketing system to help control Vientiane’s rising congestion problem.
Public buses have the potential to ease the city’s traffic congestion and reduce accidents, the Mayor of Vientiane, Mr Soukanh Mahalath, and representatives of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport agreed at a meeting in Vientiane yesterday.
Students at the National University of Laos will be given electronic transit cards to use on their bus route to encourage them to catch public transport and trial the system before it is extended to the rest of …..

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THAI Smile Flies To Luang Prabang

THAI Smile, a business unit of Thai Airways International, will start a new four weekly service to Luang Prabang in Laos, 15 December.
It pitches the airline in direct competition with Bangkok Airways that was the first international airline to serve the World Heritage town. It flies three daily services to Luang Prabang.
Luang Prabang was designated by UNESCO as the “The Best Preserved City in Southeast Asia” and registered as a World Heritage City, due to its anciednt temples and well preserved colonial building and former royal palaces.
THAI Smile will operate flights from …..

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Avis Arrives In Laos

Avis has signed a deal with RMA Group that will lead to the opening of its first facilities in Luang Prabang, Pakse and Vientiane in Laos, and Phnom Penh and Siam Reap in Cambodia. These will include both airport and city locations. The agreement will make Avis the first international car rental company to operate in either country.
“Strengthening our global position remains a high priority as we seek to drive sustained, profitable growth,” said Patric Siniscalchi, Avis Budget’s president for Latin America & Asia Pacific.
“Our licensee agreement with RMA Group will allow us to expand our …..

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French May Bring Trolleybuses To Vientiane

France’s largest trolleybus network has offered to help Vientiane overcome its traffic congestion and air pollution problems.
Trolleybuses run on electricity and draw their power from overhead cabling.
Rhône-Lyon Joint Transport Authority President, Mr Bernard Rivalta, met with senior officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Mayor of Vientiane to discuss ways Vientiane could learn from France’s experiences with its trolleybus system.
He said with the number of people and vehicles in Vientiane rising, the use of public transport should be promoted to ease traffic congestion. “Each year the population is increasing and if you don’t have a …..

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Motorway Development Being Considered For Laos

The concept of building a toll motorway in Laos is now possible in order to minimize traffic congestion in Vientiane. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in cooperation with the World Bank, is currently conducting a survey for the development of motorways, with the results of the survey to be finalized early next year.
“Road No.13 will be developed into a toll motorway over a total length of 300 km,”an official said, saying that the first section will begin from the capital city, through Phonhong district to Vangvieng district in Vientiane province. The second section will run from Vientiane through Pakngum district to Borikhamxay province.
Critics commented that the motorway needs to ensure that alternative roads are ……

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Vientiane Plans More One-Way Roads

The Vientiane Administration Office will make further adjustments to traffic flow in the capital after finding that earlier changes have been beneficial.
Next on the list is a one-way system on Kaysone Phomvihane Road from the roundabout near the Army Museum to Patuxay, as this road is a major entry route into the city. Road 23 Singha, starting from the traffic lights at the corner of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport through to the Nongbone Road access to That Luang, will be used by southbound traffic.
Another change will be made to Chanthakoumman Road, running from …..

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Infrastructure in Laos: One night to Bangkok

POOR countries with low population density tend not to have world-class railway systems. Landlocked Laos, which is squeezed between four countries with extensive rail networks (of varying quality), plans to buck the trend.
Last week China and Laos reaffirmed their commitment to make the proposed 260-mile (418-kilometre) passenger and freight railway between Kunming and Vientiane a reality. The project’s price tag is to be nearly as big as Laos’s formal economy: $6.2 billion plus interest. It will take an estimated 50,000 Chinese workers five years to build it. An astonishing two-thirds of the route will run through tunnels and over …..

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Gridlock After One-Way System Introduced

Traffic chaos ensued yesterday morning at the point where Souphanouvong Avenue funnels into Setthathirath Road in central Vientiane, after Fa Ngum Road became a one-way street.
The one-way system was announced at the start of this month, but only came into force yesterday, causing traffic to back up for more than a kilometre along Souphanouvong Avenue during the morning rush hour.
Serious bottlenecks developed at the start of Setthathirath Road, perhaps an inevitable consequence once the ……

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Chao Fangum Road To Become One-Way

Traffic on Chao Fangum road is to be restricted to one direction only and trials will take place during August and September.
The changeover to one way is part of traffic management measures to reduce congestion on the roads in Vientiane, especially during rush hours.
Police officers and officials from involved sectors will be stationed on Chao Fangum road to give advice to drivers during the next two months of the trial. The one-way change means that traffic will no longer be allowed to travel along Chao Fangum road from ……

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Traffic System In Vientiane To Be Improved

The traffic system in Vientiane will be improved in a bid to reduce the worsening traffic congestion in the city.
The project includes the installation of traffic signs and water tanks, the proper management of traffic directions and improvement of traffic lights according to the increasing number of current vehicles.
The roads in Vientiane that will be improved are Lane Xang Avenue, Kaysone Phomvihane Road (Peace Gong of Victory Gate – Dong Dok), Phontong Road, (Victory Gate-Dong Dok), 23 August Road, Nong Bone, ASEAN Road, …….

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Laos & Philippines Ready To Plug Into Electric Vehicles

Laos and the Philippines are keen to introduce electric vehicles and make EV production their key industry in the future, a development that may benefit auto-makers from Japan.
In Laos, which has abundant hydroelectric power, electricity charges are half of those in Thailand. The Laos government is implementing a project to convert 40 per cent of the nation’s motorcycles, tricycles and four-wheel vehicles into EVs by 2020 with the ….

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Heritage Architecture Being Lost

Heritage officials have expressed concern over the number of French colonial buildings that have disappeared from the capital due to urbanisation in recent years.
There are growing concerns that much of the colonial architecture in Vientiane, which is part of the national heritage of Laos, is being demolished without permission in order to develop the land, particularly in the city.
The French colonial architecture that has remained in the country since France left Laos is one of the unique attractions of the nation, which continues to attract many tourists to ……

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Flash Flooding Hampers Heavy Vehicle Movement On South Road

Heavy vehicle crossings on the Namthone Bridge on the No.13 South Road have been temporarily suspended after heavy rains caused landslides and flash flooding in Borikhamxay province over the weekend.
Floodwaters created difficulties for those who use the No.13 South Road, one of the country’s main economic corridors, forcing commuters to take another route. Many areas along the road in Borikhamxay experienced heavy rain, particularly the Km 20 junction road, where flood levels reached about 1.2m, cutting off transport and affecting …..

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Logistics And The Lao Economy: Linking Up And Reaching Out

Not so long ago, references to economic development in Laos typically mentioned the disadvantages of being a country that is landlocked. Wedged between dynamic, export-driven nations blessed with coastlines and harbours, Laos was viewed as fated to grow less rapidly than its neighbours.
But the map is changing now as the economies of Southeast Asia gear up to integrate, and as China pushes hard to develop road and rail links into the region to accelerate trade. Laos now finds itself as the pivot point between Asean’s 600 million people, with $2 trillion in GDP, and China’s …..

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Electric Buses Pose Challenges For Transport Business

A Vientiane bus company is struggling with the use of battery-powered minibuses, with batteries taking too long to charge and not providing enough power to run the company’s fleet.
Half of the fleet is currently out of service because of faulty batteries, and even the working buses need their batteries replaced. There is no domestic supplier who could provide the batteries, making it difficult to find replacements for the faulty items.
A feasibility study on low-emission transport conducted under sponsorship from the Japanese government suggested Laos was an ideal country to utilise electric vehicles (EVs), as it produces clean electricity from ….. .

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Car Loan Interest Rates Continue To Decline

The interest rates on car loans in Laos have dropped as people are being urged to buy cheaper vehicles in future.
The decision by the commercial banks and financial institutes in Laos to lower car loan interest was taken in the light of the increasing number of leasing firms in the country. At present the major leasing firms are BCEL, Indochina Bank, Lao-Viet Bank and Thanasup.
There are more than 31 commercial banks in Laos, most of which are foreign branches, who have decided to invest in the country after exploring the business opportunities thanks to the strong economic growth of more than eight percent over the past two years.
Observers said that car loan interest rates and the price of vehicles in Laos would continue to drop. At present, some of the car dealers offer customers one year’s free interest as part of efforts to boost their sales.
The price of the Vigo, one of the popular Japanese brand name cars, has dropped from US$40,000 to …..

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Lao Air Plane Crashes On Takeoff In Huaphan

A Twin Otter aircraft owned by Lao Air (not to be confused with Lao Airlines -Laos’ national carrier) crashed shortly after takeoff from Nathong Airport in Huaphan province on Wednesday after failing to clear the end of the runway at the short rural airstrip.
The accident happened at 2:35 pm when the aircraft attempted to take off en route for Vientiane. Witnesses said it appeared that the 19-seat plane clipped the top of some trees before crashing into a canal about 200 metres from the end of the runway. Fortunately, no one was killed in the accident, but five people sustained …..

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Toyota Establishes Production Base In Laos

Toyota established a new vehicle interior components production company, TOYOTA BOSHOKU LAO CO., LTD. in the Savannakhet Province in April. This is the first time the Toyota Boshoku group has built a production base in Laos.
The new company will serve as a satellite complementing the Toyota Boshoku group production base in Thailand. It will start producing …

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‘Driving Licences Not For Sale’: Official

Officials have quashed rumours that driving licences are being issued for sale by officials in the Vientiane Vehicle and Driving Management Division (VVDMD) – the body in charge of issuing licences in the capital.
The statement comes following public allegations that licences could be bought and sold on the black market, and were made by officials involved in the regular issuing process.
VVDMD rejected the allegation. He said it was impossible for such an irregularity to occur. “The application procedures to obtain a …

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Vientiane Highway Forges Ahead

A new highway linking Vientiane city centre through the That Luang marsh to the 450 Year Road is now accessible as a dirt road, which will later be sealed.
The new highway links Donnokkhoum village in Sisattanak district to Donkoi village, cutting through the That Luang marsh to Xiengda village in Xaysettha district and the 450 Year Road, over a distance of 9.5 kilometres. The whole project is expected to be finished in 2015…..

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See Vientiane’s Sights From New Heights

Visitors to Vientiane will now be able to enjoy sky high views of the city following the launch of a new helicopter service by Lao Air.
The helicopter service aimed to offer tourists a unique perspective on Vientiane.“This new service will offer domestic and foreign tourists a panoramic bird’s-eye view of Vientiane and the surrounding countryside”. Lao Air will use three AS 350 B2 helicopters each able to seat five people. Passengers can choose one of four different routes, all of which take them 400 metres above the city. Prices per person, per flight range from …

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Hot Air Ballooning in Vang Vieng

Visiting Laos was on my list for long, and I booked a tour through Laos with a local tour provider. BUT riding a balloon has always been my dream! And here in Laos, this dream unexpectedly came true one early morning in the mist of the sunrise over Vang Vieng in Laos. The day before I have already heard about the Lao hot air ballooning and together with my friends we found great interest. Screw it, let’s do it was the slogan!
So, we booked, paid and were just waiting for the morning to come…..

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Luang Prabang Bus Crash Death Toll Rises

Seven people are now confirmed dead from a bus crash in Luang Prabang after officials reported a 23 year old man died in hospital several hours after the accident on November 22.
The accident happened on November 22, on Road No. 13 north between Vientiane and Luang Prabang province. The overnight bus left Vientiane at 7:30pm on November 21, carrying 32 people headed for Luang Prabang. Early the next morning, …

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High Speed Rail From Savannakhet To Vietnam border; Contract Signed

Laos is to have its first high-speed rail link after a contract was signed yesterday to lay tracks between Savannakhet province and the Vietnam border.
It is estimated that the US$5 billion project, to be financed by a Malaysian company, will be completed in five years, at which point Savannakhet will have a direct rail link to Lao Bao on the Laos-Vietnam border. The project will form part of a planned railway that will eventually link most of Southeast Asia.
When the entire planned rail link is completed, it will provide a non-stop connection to Singapore, through Thailand and Malaysia, into Kunming province, China, and through Vietnam. At the moment, public transport on this route is …..

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Laos-China Rail Project Goes Full Steam Ahead

The Lao government will proceed with the construction of a US$7 billion Laos-China high-speed railway even though China has withdrawn from the joint venture.
Laos has now decided to assume sole ownership of the project, as it considers that transforming the country from being landlocked to a land link is central to the future of the nation’s development. The railway is now set to go ahead without any other direct stakeholders, but will be financed by a loan from China.
The ground-breaking ceremony is expected to take place during the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit on November 5-6 when top ranking leaders from ….

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Riding A Motorbike Really Is The Best Way To Travel In Laos…

You’re free to travel at your own pace and speed, you can stop anywhere you like without arriving in a vehicle as big as someone’s house, and in a country like this, with so many remote places to explore, a motorbike can handle tracks that buses and cars don’t go to. (As long as you’re not worried about getting a little dirty or sweaty sometimes!)
When you have a good motorcycle in Laos, it’s like having an all-access pass to the best theme park on the planet. The roads become a roller coaster through stunning scenery and all of a sudden you are smiling from ear to ear and your brain is overloaded with every shade of green and brown and blue, as the dirt roads, the …..

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Lao Govt To Delay Car Usage Tax

The government will delay the enforcement of an annual car usage tax and a natural resources tax, even though the National Assembly had earlier given the green light to impose the taxes.
The National Assembly approved the revised Tax Law at the end of last year, allowing the government to collect the car usage tax annually instead of as a lump sum after finding that vehicle importers were failing to pay the full amount of excise tax due to the high rates levied.
The tax official also said the government will not impose the approved natural resource tax until it has revised the presidential decree on state service fees. He was unable to say when the revised decree would be promulgated.

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Lao Central Airline Campaigns Destination Bangkok and Luang Prapang

Lao Central Airline, the first private-owned airline based in Vientiane, is now ready for take-off according to their latest advertising campaign. Lao Central Airlines will fly 3 times a week to Bangkok & Luang Prapang (Monday, Wednesday & Friday).
The Airline is using mid-sized jet aircraft to target the regional market. Lao Central Airlines wants to position itself as a premium low cost airline by applying aggressive marketing strategy to gain market shares.
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Lao Central Airlines Ready For Takeoff

Fledgling airline Lao Central Airlines Public Company (LCA) wasted no time in getting off the ground after taking delivery of its second jet on December 27 and ran a special flight from Vientiane to Luang Prabang last Friday.
Flights cannot be offered yet because more time is needed to prepare ticket sales and organise services management, but now that it has two planes, as required by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the airline can offer flights at any time.

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PC Air Set For Laos Flights

Small private airline PC Air says it will begin operating charter flights this month with Bangkok-Vientiane service and will start serving China next month.
Last Friday the airline held its first trial flight between Bangkok and Hat Yai. PC Air is the first airline in Thailand to hire all genders. PC Air’s four transsexual flight attendants are believed to be the world’s first transgender flight attendants.

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Don’t Drive Without Insurance

Being an expat involved in a road accident can become a very unpleasant experience, mainly due to the fact that most foreigners do not master the local language and therefore are not always able to explain to the police the the accident happened. The nightmare of having to deal with the police and the other party on your own can easily be avoided if you have an up to date insurance policy for your vehicle.

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