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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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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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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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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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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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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Lao Outbound Travellers Hit 3 Million For 2016

Lao outbound travellers made more than 3.05 million trips in 2016 and more people are suggested to have made longer-distance trips in foreign countries, the latest statistics showed.
Though 2016’s figure slightly decreased from more than 3.06 million trips and the 3.3 million trips recorded in 2015 and 2014 respectively, the number of Lao nationals travelling by planes increased 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Aerial Sports Take Flight In Landlocked Laos

Bad roads, big mountains and dense jungle have gifted Laos a difficult and dazzling terrain — one that is now being enjoyed from the skies by a well-heeled new crop of pilots pursuing a passion for aerial sports.
The pastime, new to the tiny, poor Southeast Asian nation, was made possible by Ravansith Thammarangsy, a Franco-Laotian flight instructor who …..

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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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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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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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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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Thailand Confirms New 6-month Visas For Tourists

Thailand’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has confirmed that it will be launching a new six-month multiple-entry tourist visa (METV) in November.
In a notice posted to the Thai MFA’s Facebook page Monday, it said: “Thailand will soon grant multiple-entry visas to visitors to facilitate the forthcoming ASEAN Community and to boost Thailand’s tourism industry.”
The introduction of the new visa represents ……..

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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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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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“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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Military Helicopter Carrying 19 Passengers, Four Crew ‘Missing’ in Laos

A military transport helicopter carrying 19 passengers and four crew members to Houaphan province in northern Laos is missing more than 36 hours after it departed an airport in the capital Vientiane, an Air Force official said Tuesday.
Air traffic control in Vientiane lost contact with the MI-17 helicopter—registration number RDPL-34062—at 1:10 p.m. local time on July 27, shortly after it departed Wattay International Airport, heading 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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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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Chinese Investor Granted Concession for Khouangxi Waterfalls In Luang Prabang

A Lao official has decided to grant a land concession to a Chinese investor to develop the area around one of the country’s most famous natural landmarks, despite heavy criticism by locals who oppose such deals involving public property.
Khampheng Saysompheng, governor of Luang Prabang province in northern Laos, approved China’s A-Cho Group Company for a land concession to develop the area surrounding the Khouangxi waterfalls, a popular tourist attraction.
The deal came to light, however, when a copy of a document related to Khampheng’s decision was published on ….

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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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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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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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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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ICAO Gives Laos A High Score

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) team awarded Laos a high score of 73% following a procedures audit last month.
Vientiane Times reported the ICVM team conducted the audit on the country’s civil aviation department, 21 to 27 April, resulting in the DCA revealing details last week to its staff.
DCA general director, Yakua Lorpangkao, was quoted as saying that it was an “historic milestone” to achieve such a high score from the …….

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Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge Opens

President of Laos Choummaly Sayasone and President of Myanmar U Thein Sein on Saturday officially opened the Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, creating a road link across the Mekong River.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Thongloun Sosoulith said the bridge was a symbol of the close cooperation between Laos and Myanmar. It also reflected the friendship, good relations, solidarity and mutual understanding between 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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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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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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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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Lao Central Set For Return To Skies

Lao Central Airlines will soon reopen for business after it temporarily halted flights in the middle of last year to improve services and management systems and study the possibility of expansion.
The airline called a temporary halt to operations after being in business for about two years, during which time it fully tested its services.
It is currently expanding its fleet because Laos is now …..

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Top 10 Coffee Spots In Luang Prabang

Coffee has been a staple of Laos ever since it was introduced by French colonialists in the early twentieth century. Coffee is currently the largest agricultural export commodity, and the Bolaven Plateau is one of the most fertile regions to grow coffee. In Lao, coffee is pronounced “khaafeh” (similar to how you would say café). If you want real Lao coffee, you must order “khaafeh Lao”.
At first I was considering using a rating system in order to categorize different coffee spots in Laos, but I felt that it did not give enough justice to some of the more local places I visited. This list is thus ….

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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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Asean Open Skies On Track

Three aviation tragedies involving carriers from Asean within a space of nine months will not stop the implementation of the Asean open skies policy that will kick off from January 1.
The policy, however, is expected to pay more attention to having higher standards of safety and other regulatory approvals to operate flights, among others, when it is fully implemented by the end of 2015.
Although the road to full open skies is not completely clear of ….

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Thai Airways Caught Using Subsidiary: Warned By Lao Authorities

Laos has warned Thai Airways International (THAI) to stop breaching its air service agreement by deploying its budget airline subsidiary for flights to the neighbouring country that are designated for the parent.
The order came after Lao authorities found THAI Smile had been flying the route in place of the parent airline, an act considered a violation of the rights originally extended to THAI.
In the eyes of the authorities, THAI Smile, despite being wholly ….

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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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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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Thailand Offers Visa-On-Arrival Services at 10 More Border Checkpoints

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said today that additional visa-on-arrival services were approved and published in the Royal Gazette on November 10 and will take effect tomorrow, December 10.
The move is aimed at promoting tourism, economic activities, transport, trade and the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, he said.
The 10 new visa on arrival locations are the immigration checkpoints at …..

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Pilot Error ‘Probable Cause’ For Lao Crash

Pilot error was the likely cause of a plane crash during a tropical storm in Laos that killed 49 people, including six Australians.
The official report on the crash of Lao Airlines flight QV301, released on Friday, was presented to the family and friends of the victims in the capital, Vientiane.
The English-language version of the document says the probable cause of the crash included “the sudden change of weather condition and the flight crew’s failure to properly execute the published instrument approach”.
The plane was going in to land at …

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AirAsia Is Launching Monthly Flight Pass For Regional Destinations

Budget carrier AirAsia said Thursday it will launch a regional air pass next year to increase revenue and boost tourism in Southeast Asia, taking competition in low-cost air travel to a more intense level.
Chief executive Tony Fernandes said the AirAsia ASEAN Pass will allow travelers to fly to 10 different destinations in Southeast Asia in one month for ….

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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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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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10 Of The Most Intimate Boutique Hotels In South East Asia

There’s nothing quite like enjoying the exclusivity of being in a hotel that caters to just a select few – hotels that are small and intimate. The advantages are many – the best of them being that you are almost family during your stay. More often than not, you will find that the hotel staff is happy to go that extra mile to make your holiday unforgettable. Combine that with the warmth of the typical Southeast Asian hospitality and you will find yourself spoilt for choice. What’s more, we offer you a choice that suits every pocket!
Here are 10 of the most intimate boutique hotels you will find in ….

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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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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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Thailand Allows 30-day Extension Of Stay For Visitors From 48 Countries

In another positive move to boost the Thai travel and tourism industry, the Immigration Bureau has allowed citizens of 48 countries and Hong Kong SAR to get a 30-day extension of their stay in Thailand after the expiry of their normal period of stay.
The move is effective as of 29 August, 2014. It will apply to visitors holding travel documents of Australia, Austria, …….

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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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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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City Enforces Stricter Regulations On Heavy Trucks

Ten to 22 wheeled trucks are not allowed to be driven in Vientiane if their drivers cannot provide documents indicating their destination to the Vientiane Public Works and Transport Department.
If truck drivers are not carrying the right documents to indicate where they are delivering construction materials or if they are not carrying a permit, they will be fined if Vientiane police find them travelling on the capital’s 13 main roads.
The main roads include: Souphanouvong, Setthathirath, Chao Fangum, ……

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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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India, Vietnam, Thailand Named As Destinations Most Likely To Make You Sick

ONE in two Australian travellers get sick on overseas holidays – and India, Vietnam and Thailand are clocking up the highest number of holiday casualties.
Of those struck down by illness, most lost at least two days of their holiday. And many of those wasted sick days could have been avoided, with travellers admitting to being slack when it comes to basic preventive measures.
Tummy troubles like diarrhoea and gastro were the …..

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Authorities To Hold Talks Over Delayed Rail Project

Lao authorities plan to hold talks with a foreign investor to discuss why they have yet to begin the US$5 billion Savan-Laobao rail project, a senior government official said.
The Lao government signed an agreement with the Malaysia-based company, Giant Consolidated Limited, in November 2012 to develop the 220km high-speed rail to link central Savannakhet province to Laobao on the Vietnam border.
The investor announced the project would begin in early 2013 with completion slated within the next four years, however significant action has yet to be taken to …..

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Thai Coup Restrictions Affect All Lao Border Crossings

Update 28th May: Our readers report that the situation at the Vientiane / Nongkai crossing is back to normal
Lao residents and Expats living in Laos with vehicles who intend to travel to Thailand will not be able to cross with ease as restrictions have been placed on all border checkpoints after the Thai military staged a coup to seize power and maintain peace and order on May 22.
Lao people who carry border passes are currently restricted from using them to enter Thailand.
Thai military officials have advised residents to use a passport and only go into Thailand if …..

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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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Lanith Wins Prestigious Global Tourism Award

Lanith (Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality) captured the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow’s People Award 2014, for demonstrating excellence in the development of capacity building, training, and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future.
“This award shows that Laos is on a solid, sustainable path towards building a strong travel and tourism industry through people, who deliver an international level of service quality,” said …..

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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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37 People Killed In Road Accidents During Lao New Year

Ministry of Public Security reported yesterday 37 people were killed in road accidents nationwide during the six day celebration of Lao New Year from April 11-16.
The Traffic Police department of the ministry displayed this year’s records to media yesterday highlighting that 303 road accidents occurred nationwide during the period killing over 30 people and resulting in 544 injuries.
The department also reported drink driving and the breaking of traffic rules as the major causes of road accidents. Vientiane recorded the highest number with …

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SABAIDEE Magazine Turns Two

Lifestyle and travel publication Sabaidee Magazine has celebrated their 2nd Year Anniversary in March 2014, holding a party for clients, partners and supporters at Smile Dee Restaurant in Vientiane.
Sabaidee Magazine is a travel and lifestyle English and Lao language publication. It features articles on Laos’ urban centres, lifestyle, arts, culture, and Lao and ASEAN travel destinations.
The event was also a timely occasion to launch the magazine’s latest publication March Issue 14, which marks the move from bi-monthly to a monthly magazine. The move to a monthly release has seen ….

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Udon Thani Wants On The Map

The Udon Thani Tourism Business Association has set an ambitious goal of placing the northeastern province on the global tourism map. Newly appointed president Tanakorn Weerachatyanukul said the plan includes improving infrastructure and better transport with more flights to Udon Thani.
He said in the near future, the number of flights between Bangkok to Udon Thani will increase to 27 per day, ranking as the third highest destination from Bangkok after Phuket and Chiang Mai.
More flights from Singapore, …….

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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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Overseas Visitors Making Only Short Trips

Laos has been unable to convince foreign visitors to spend more money here and provide a boost to the economy, despite a significant increase in the number of overseas visitors in recent years.
Statistics show that a foreign tourist visiting Laos spends 8.4 days here on average – less time than in other countries in the region, even though Laos boasts a wide range of cultural, historical and natural attractions.
This means they spend less. In 2013 Laos earned almost …..

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Luang Prabang Ranks As A World Leading Tourist Destination

Readers of Wanderlust, a leading British travel magazine, have voted World Heritage listed Luang Prabang as one of the top two cities in the world to visit for 2014.
Luang Prabang ranked second after Bagan city in Myanmar while third place belonged to Nghe An in Vietnam, according to a report from Luang Prabang Provincial Department of Information, Culture and Tourism.
However, Laos as a whole was the …..

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Vientiane, Luang Prabang Rank High Among Budget Travellers

Laos’ capital of Vientiane and the world heritage site of Luang Prabang ranked in the top 10 Asian cities for budget travellers in 2014, according to a recently-released index.
However living costs in the two Lao cities are still more expensive than many cities in the region including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam and Chiang Mai of Thailand, despite the fact that the economies of the two neighbours are more advanced than that of Laos.
The ranking was made by a travel cost database website called …….

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Cruising Down the Mekong River in Laos

I LOVE TO TRAVEL by river—the slower, the better. Drifting close to the pace of the stream forces you to shelve your impatience, and surrender to your surroundings. You have meandering conversations, watch the scenery roll by, get quiet inside.
A friend of mine, a longtime resident of Thailand, didn’t know this when he suggested my wife, Kathryn, and I top off a busy two weeks of temple tourism in Cambodia and Thailand with a short trip down the Mekong River. We liked the idea of getting a taste of Laos, and the relaxation would be welcome before we ……

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Services To Be Improved At Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge

The first Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge which links Vientiane and Nong Khai in Thailand will increase services to support the Asean Economic Community (AEC) next year. The 1st Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge is one of Vientiane’s checkpoints which will be busy after Laos joins the AEC.
Officials are of the belief that there will be a large increase in transportation at the bridge after Asean nations officially launch the AEC.
“We are now improving many sections at the bridge to support the community including infrastructure and services at the …….

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Tourist Arrivals In Laos Exceed Forecast Targets

Foreign tourist arrivals to Laos in 2013 reached 3,779,490 visitors for the year, exceeding the official target of more than 3.4 million, statistics showed. The 2013 arrivals also surpassed targets forecast for 2015 of around 3,750,000 visitors.
Tourists from other Asean member countries have continued to make up the largest numbers of foreign visitors arriving in Laos compared to other regions – the numbers have increased constantly.
Visitors from neighbouring Thailand reached more than 1.9 million people in 2013 – the highest numbers of foreign tourists arriving in Laos from any ….

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Lanith Reaches Finals for Top Global Tourism Award

Lanith (Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality) topped nearly 200 entrants from more than 50 countries to reach the finals for the coveted 10th World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow’s People Award 2014. WTTC recognises sustainable tourism best practices in worldwide businesses and destinations.
More than 20 independent expert judges from around the world selected Lanith as one of three finalists, as the Lao institute best demonstrates the “delivery of social and economic benefits to local people, and engagement in environmentally friendly operations,” according to WTTC.
“Achieving placement in the finals for this prestigious award is a win in itself,” said Mr. Peter Semone, Chief of Lanith. “Taking the top prize would be ……

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Immigration Crackdown On Illegal Foreigners: North-East Thailand

Immigration Police in North East Thailand have announced the start of a major crackdown on foreigners entering the country posing as tourists, who it believes are in fact working illegally in the Kingdom, said Pol Major General Chartchai Lamsaeng at a seminar for immigration officers held on Monday in Khon Kaen.
This latest crackdown is to also target foreign nationals on border runs and those who have re-entered Thailand a considerable number of times using tourist visas over a ……

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Thailand, Bangkok: 45 Countries Issue Travel Warnings

Travellers to Bangkok being urged to avoid rally sites, stock up on cash, food and water. Many countries have advised their nationals to stay away from demonstration sites on Monday and ensure that they have enough cash on them, a fully-charged communication device as well as enough food and water to last a while. They have also been advised not to wear red or yellow.
“Participating or showing support in any form to any of the parties is strongly discouraged,” the Philippines Embassy in Bangkok said on its website. Meanwhile, the United States Embassy has warned its citizens to be careful, because although mass rallies have been generally peaceful over the past few months, there have still …..

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Xayaboury Elephant Festival: Expect Best Ever Elephant Festival

The organisers of the Xayaboury Elephant Festival hope for this year to be the best ever in terms of festival takings, with a record number of tourists expected to arrive next month, from February 17 to 19.
Since 2007, the Elephant Festival has become increasingly popular among locals and foreigners alike, who come to see the giant creatures take part in Buddhist and traditional ceremonies and take part in activities which promote elephant conservation.
Last year more 100,000 visitors attended the event and the organisers are confident that with a more convenient and accessible location at the heart of the town, visitor numbers can only ……

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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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Lao Capital Welcomes 1.4 Million Tourists In 2013

Over 1.4 million tourists visited Lao capital Vientiane in 2013 said the Vientiane Department of Information, Culture and Tourism.
For Lao PDR and its population of approximately 7 million people the influx of foreign tourists means big business. Earlier this year Laos was awarded the World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2013 by the European Union Council on Tourism and Trade at a ceremony here in the capital.
Tourism is Laos’ fastest growing industry and second largest to …

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Concerns in Laos That Burma’s Opening Could Slow Tourism Growth

Businesses in Laos, itself a nascent tourist draw, are concerned that growth in the sector could be stalled by Burma’s recent opening-up, which could see some visitors opting for one country over the other when planning holidays.
More than 3.3 million tourists visited Laos last year, a 22 percent increase on 2011, with the influx contributing US$513.5 million to Laos’ modest $19 billion economy.
Pulling in more Western tourists, who according to Laos government statistics stay longer and spend more than visitors from neighboring countries, is key to the country’s tourism plans going …..

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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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Bridge Border Crossing Set To Speed Up

Officials overseeing the first Laos-Thailand Friendship Bridge border checkpoint have told the Asean Secretariat they will streamline procedures to speed up crossings between Vientiane and Thailand’s Nong Khai province.
In 2012 almost 1.9 million people entered Laos at the bridge and more than 2.1 million people left Laos for Thailand the same way. With 36,958 vehicles coming in and 246,468 going out of Laos, the bridge has become noticeably more crowded in recent times.
Under a newly-drawn plan on how to address the crowding problem presented at yesterday’s visit, the checkpoint will introduce a single-window system and parking spaces and roads will be expanded and improved…..

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Nam Phou: City Centre or Dumping Centre ?

Nam Phou, located in Vientiane’s city center, always has been a meeting place for local residents spending time relaxing and enjoying their free time. During French colonialism, the area was designed as a market before being developed into a fountain 50 years ago. One year ago, after being renovated, the Nam Phou fountain reopened to the public and international tourists.
Have you visited Nam Phou recently ? You will be surprised, guaranteed ! In every corner there are rubbish bags piling up and the public space is obstructed with metal structures for tents, wood and metal scrap. If that isn’t enough to scare of the visitors, the piled up chairs and tables (mostly all broken) will do the rest.
Before the redevelopment the Nam Phou was …..

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Laos Recovers Crashed Plane Black Boxes

Search teams on Thursday recovered the flight data recorders of a Lao Airlines plane that plunged into the Mekong River in bad weather killing all 49 people on board, officials said.
The black boxes, which include both voice and data recordings, were found early Thursday as part of efforts to recover parts of the stricken craft from the river’s fast-flowing waters, according to Yakua Lopankao, director general of Laos’ Department of Civil Aviation.
“It has not yet been decided where to send them to be examined, it is up to the air accident investigation committee,” he said of the operation, which has been assisted by experts from …..

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Black Box Recorders Still Missing: QV301

Lao authorities have clarified foreign media reports which stated that the black box recorders had been recovered from the Lao Airlines plane that crashed in Champassak province last week.
Recovery teams from Laos and France had detected a signal from the black box recorders but had not yet been able to locate them. “We can detect a signal but we cannot pinpoint the location of the black boxes,” an official said, adding that the signal was quite strong and indicated the direction of the source of transmission. “But this doesn’t mean we have retrieved …..

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Visiting Kamu Lodge, A Luxury Adventure For Modern Explorers In Laos

As we were planning our tour through Laos with our children, we took on the quest to arrange each single night in a truly special place. Sure you may agree, in the end of the day, the place you sleep in is just as important as the experiences and adventures that a modern family of explorers encounters during the days in Laos.
Now, after our travels in Laos we can say we were truly rewarded with quite outstanding, enchanting and inspirational places along the way. Our stay at Kamu Lodge truly was a highlight in Laos, simply because it came as such a bewildering positive surprise…!!
I’m an experienced camper and boy scout, needless to say I like the idea of staying ……

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Laos Crash Plane Partially Salvaged

A part of the Lao Airlines plane that crashed into the Mekong River last week was retrieved on Tuesday, but the black box from the ill-fated aircraft has still not been found.
Lao divers and rescue workers hauled the 10-metre part of the stricken ATR 72-600 from the bottom of the river at 3.30pm and painted the airline logo and plane number in black.
The plane, which was found about 400 metres from the crash site, was transported by ….

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Recovery Effort Underway After Lao Airlines Plane Crash

Lao authorities and Lao Airlines officials are putting every effort into the recovery operation after flight QV301 went down in Champassak province on Wednesday afternoon, retrieving the bodies of the victims and the wreckage of the plane from the Mekong River.
Flight QV301 departed Vientiane for Pakxe at 2:45pm on Wednesday and crashed just over an hour later while approaching Pakxe airport for landing, after running into bad weather in the wake of Tropical Storm Nari.
All 49 passengers and crew on board are believed to have died after the plane plunged into the Mekong River near Phaling village in Phonthong district, in what is thought to have been a high impact crash…..

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Lao Airlines Plane Crashes In Pakse

A Lao Airlines plane from Vientiane crashed just before landing at Pakse airport on Wednesday, killing all 49 people onboard.
The ART twin-turbo plane flight QV301 crashed into the Mekong River as it was coming in to land at the airport in Champassak province in southern Laos due to bad weather. The plane left Wattay airport in Vientiane at 2.45pm and crashed at 4pm, officials said.
According to The Nation, a well-informed source said the aviation control tower at Pakse Airport recommended the pilots not land at the airport because of ….

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Savannakhet Provincial Capital Seeks City Status

Savannakhet provincial capital has the necessary criteria and conditions for development as a city, including financial self-sufficiency.
The district has a population of 130,000 people, which is above the number defined in the draft Law on Municipality and City presently being considered by the government. This piece of legislation states that a city should have a population of not less than 80,000.
With regards to infrastructure, the town has both narrow and broad roads, as well as shopping centres and other facilities. It is currently the second largest town in Laos after Vientiane and is linked by …..

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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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Selling The Mekong

The tourism industry has long dreamed of creating a borderless travel destination spanning the six countries that share the Mekong River — Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Yunnan province of China. Ease of movement similar to that offered in Europe would open up the region’s rich potential and create great economic opportunity, they say.
However, the reality is that more has to be done to inspire travellers around the world to realise the attractions in the Mekong countries, and to fix regulations to facilitate truly borderless travel.
The issue has come into focus again as the creation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) approaches in 2015. The region’s leaders have ….

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Lao Airlines Adds New Routes

Lao Airlines plans to increase flights on some of its domestic and international sectors and add more planes to its fleet, aiming to upgrade its level of service.
The airline plans to increase flights between Vientiane and Oudomxay, Bokeo and Luang Namtha provinces from the current three or four times a week to daily flights beginning in October.
The airline also plans to add an extra flight on its Luang Prabang-Bangkok sector, and will increase flights on the Luang Prabang-Hanoi sector from one to two flights a day.
New for the airline will be flights between Vientiane and Phnom Penh, and between ……

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Laughing-Gas Balloons Not So Funny

The widespread use of illegal balloons containing laughing gas among tourists at entertainment venues has prompted police in Bangkok, Thailand to crack down on vendors selling these balloons on Khao San Road.
Sale of balloons filled with nitrous oxide gas, also known as laughing gas, is illegal. However, vendors on khao san Road – Bangkok’s famous tourist street – are still selling this balloon to tourists. Some of them have set up stands along the street, luring tourists to pay Bt100 to Bt150 for each piece.
Tourists have been warned to not buy these balloons as the colourless and non-inflammable nitrous-oxide gas can cause severe symptoms for inhalers and some might even become unconscious if …..

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Travel Laos With Kids; Travel Tips From The Lao Travel Specialists

Visiting Asia with children is getting more and more popular and for good reasons, as the Asian, and of course also the Lao mentality, is very child friendly. If traveling with children in Asia, you will experience numerous times that local staff will help out watching your kids or giving them attention while you try to get some food or have troubles getting around. Indeed the Asian and Lao culture seems to be very child-friendly when it comes to traveling.
Also traveling Laos with kids may build a great number of intercultural bridges, as your kids will eventually get into verbal or non-verbal communication and playing with other children, which again, for the parents will open doors to experience the local Lao life and culture, unspoiled and very direct…
We want to clearly encourage families to travel in Laos, since we have ….

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Inthy Deuansavan, One Of The Most Successful Local Entrepreneur In Lao Tourism

Interview with Inthy Deuansavan, Head of Green Discovery Tour Operator and Inthira Hotels
One of the most successful local entrepreneur in Lao tourism, Inthy is a rather outspoken personality in the country and speaks openly about opportunities and failures of Laos in its tourism development.
Inthy answer questions on the progres of the Lao tourism, how to promote the country and which are the upcoming places to visit in Laos…..

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Lao Airlines Operates Daily Savannakhet-Bangkok-Pakse Flights

National carrier Lao Airlines officially began daily Savannakhet-Bangkok-Pakse flights on August 1, after previously flying the route only three times per week.
The additional flights are to serve tourists and businesspeople in Laos and Thailand, who fly between Savannakhet, Laos, Bangkok, Thailand and Pakse, Laos ……

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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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Is Laos Tourism Doing Sufficient Efforts To Correct Its Weak Image?

Despite having received over three million international travellers in 2012, Laos seems to suffer of an image deficit according to travel professionals working with the destination. Is it a time to rethink Laos strategy.
“Simply Beautiful- I love that slogan because this sounds so true. But unfortunately, it now lacks a strong campaign behind to promote Laos differently from other countries”. A rather strong opinion which comes from one of Laos’ most successful local businessmen in tourism, Inthi Deuansavan, Head of Green Discovery Tour Operator and Inthira Hotels.
Laos remains probably Southeast Asia’s best kept secret destination. “This is a wonderful place for someone who …..

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Party Over For Vang Vieng

Once the most popular place in Asia for drink, drugs and sex, the small Laotian town welcomes tourists more interested in a quiet break
Slowly, the Nam Song River meanders through Vang Vieng. A couple of kids are casting their fishing lines into it, while women wearing straw hats are pushing rickety old bicycles across the old wooden bridge. They are returning from their day’s work in the surrounding rice paddies, while beyond the karst cliffs, a red sun is setting.
A handful of tourists are enjoying the moment, sipping gin and tonics with quiet chill-out music playing in the background while they take in this Asian scene that looks like something out of a picture book.
Vang Vieng is ….

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Southern Laos: Time Out In The 4,000 Islands

It is 6.30am and a bright orange sun is rising behind the mountains. The twin hulls of our boat cut through water that shimmers like glass. Fish jump and buffalo swim. Villagers brush their teeth at the waters edge.
It’s another world, from another era, and I feel like Katherine Hepburn, except that my vessel is a raft strapped on top of two wooden canoes, on top of which, perching like thrones, sit two rattan chairs. It is a rather comical, Heath Robinson contraption, but that can’t detract from the beauty of the scenery and the empty, peaceful atmosphere.
It would be nice to spend the day just sitting and floating, but my destination materialises into view. Don Daeng is one of the many islands in the middle of the Mekong River, here in southern Laos where the river starts to ….

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Stay Another Day: The Green Revolution in Laos

There’s something terribly right going on in Laos. Engulfed in a green revolution, sustainable tourism is racing through the recently paved roads from the provincial cities to the remote edges of this pristine country. From organic farm cooperatives to ethnic fashion shows, the idea is pulsing and putting money back where it belongs – with the people.
At the heart of the revolution is Stay Another Day, a Luang Prabang based initiative that produces a veritable Lonely Planet of the country’s sustainable organizations. They ask travelers to buy local/fair trade products, get off the beaten-path, volunteer or make a donation (however small), learn a few basic words in Lao, respect the local culture, keep smiling, and stay another day. Not too much to ask…..

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The Secret To Buying Souvenirs

If you’re looking in the airport, you’ve left it too late. Your search for a beautiful, meaningful souvenir is going to end in the purchase of a tea towel and a bottle of duty-free gin. The airport is not the place to buy your souvenirs. In fact, any souvenir shop is not the place to buy your souvenirs.
So where is?
Everyone’s heard of “take only photographs, leave only footprints”, which is kind of a cute mantra, but not very helpful if you want to have a permanent reminder of that holiday you spent thousands of dollars on. So the hunt for the perfect souvenir continues. Do you go for kitsch and tacky, a miniature….

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Only Three Hotels In Laos Make 5 Star Grade

Laos has only three hotels of 5 star standard, with all of these located in Vientiane, according to the 2013 Official Hotel Classification Directory from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
“Only three hotels have met our guidelines for 5 star classification,” said the Director General of the ministry’s Tourism Marketing Department, Mr Saly Phimphinith. “Hotels in the provinces cannot attain these standards because they don’t have meeting rooms, car parks and other facilities, which are what we look for in the highest grade of accommodation.”
The 5 star accommodations are ……

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Laos Lauded As World’s Best Tourism Destination

A delegation from the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) has arrived in Vientiane, where they will present Laos with the council’s award for ‘World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2013.
The delegation also visited important tourism sites in Vientiane before departing for Luang Prabang World Heritage Site tomorrow to experience how amazing this city is and how traditional culture is preserved there.
Among the reasons for awarding the title are Laos’ promotion of free and fair tourism, the safety of tourists, the facilities offered, access to sites of historical and cultural significance, investment in the preservation of historical sites, and the benefits of tourism 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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Elephant Conservation Center – A Lao Travel Highlight With Elephants

No doubt, this can be a highlight of your stay in Laos, the visit at the Elephant Conservation Center in Sayabouri, in the western corner of Laos, just a few hours drive from Luang Prabang.
We have visited the center a few times and wanted to share our experience with you and give you a general outline of how your visit at the Elephant Center could look like, and more importantly, how it helps the Elephants in Laos and their future…

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Nok Air Calendar “Inappropriate” ?

Nok Air’s calendar shows the photo of 12 girls in yellow bikinis, posting in front of its aircraft. The girls appear on the front cover of its calendar, which will be distributed to 300 fans.
The Thai Culture Permanent Secretary attacked Nok Air for its controversial calendar. “They lack the sense of social and cultural responsiblity and ignore social and cultural repercussions – particularly female dignity.”

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Tubing In Vang Vieng Runs Aground

Controversial backpacker hotspot, Vang Vieng in northern Laos, has torn down the bars, slides and rope swings that made the riverside town so popular with bohemian travellers.
In 2011 at least 20 unconfirmed deaths had been reported by worldwide news publications, while seven people – including two Australians – had died in 2012 before the government crackdown. The dream was over, and in late August 2012 the Laotian government came through and destroyed the remaining bars along the Nam Song River, heralding the end of an era….

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Laos Lures Korean Golfers

A big jump in South Korean tourist arrivals in Laos is being attributed to the lure of new golf courses in Luang Prabang, the ancient capital, and in Vientiane.
Korean investors have built and now manage several golf courses in the land-locked communist country, where land and water are still abundant and labour is cheap.
Golf course fees in Laos are a fraction of what they are in South Korea, where the game is a national passion.

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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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A New Dawn For Tourism In Vangvieng After Tubing Tragedies

An extensive renovation project set to begin shortly along the Xong River in Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, hopes to promote tourism after its image was marred by a few fatal accidents.
These events led government and district officials to appoint a taskforce committee to address the issue. As a result, 24 bars and entertainment venues operating along the riverbank were closed down….

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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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My Paradise – Meung Feuang Island Getaway

Do you also have a dream of spending a few days on a lonely island surrounded by water and green nature ? Well, my dream came true when I decided to escape the “hustle and bustle” of the ASEM meeting and headed north towards the Nam Lik River.
I was invited by Adam, also a J&C team member, to join him and his friends to spend some time at their holiday house which is located on a small island on the banks of the Nam Lik River, about 110 Km north of Vientiane.
Arriving in the village of Muang Feuang, our first adventure was getting our luggage safely (and dry) to the other side of the river by using ……

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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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Vat SiMeuang: The Liveliest Temple In Vientiane

“Mother, please help my son to pass the entrance exam and study in a good school. If he succeeds, I promise to give you two bunches of bananas, two coconuts, a wax castle and five pairs of lighted candles and flowers.”
This is a typical example of the prayers offered up at Vat Simeuang temple in Vientiane every day – a prayer to Nha Mae Simeuang, believed to be the city’s protector. People come here to make their heart’s desires known, and will return with offerings if their prayers are answered. Usually they bring coconuts, candles or money, all of which are laid in abundance at the main altar.
The temple was built in 1563 and houses the much venerated city pillar. Legend has it that the king at that time asked that a hole be dug to install the pillar and it must be large enough for …..

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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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Nam Phou Fountain Reopens To Public

After being renovated for almost a year, the Nam Phou fountain reopens to the public and international tourists. Being granted with a concession lasting 30 years, the developer, Asia Investment and Finance Service Company, confirms that the fountain will remain a public space where local people and tourists can come to relax and enjoy the facilities.
The developer had to modify the original design six times to accommodate the public fear of …..

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