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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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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Tree Top Explorer – A Great Adventure !

The Tree Top Explorer in the south of Laos simply blows one’s head off! Deep inside a national park and away from bustling city life, this parcours offers excellent trekking that culminates in flying through the jungle on zip-lines, the most extensive and longest in the region. Canopy walkways and a ‘via ferrata’ add to the challenges to be mastered. If that’s not enough, the night is spent in romantic tree houses which let you easily forget the bravery of the day by the tranquillizing sound of waterfalls surrounding the visitor.
The Tree Top Explorer is an adventure everyone will enjoy without doubt. Fun is guaranteed – as are memories of an unparalleled experience of a lifetime and, for the one or the other, some inspiration for the future!.

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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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I Want To Ride My Bicycle

Whether you are planning to be in the capitol for a year or a day there’s a great new way to become acquainted with city life and see the sights. So, leave the guidebook behind and saddle up for an insider’s view of Vientiane.

Aline, a former art critic, travel agent, and flight attendant shares her personal insights, history, and fun facts about all aspects of life in Laos while cycling the city on one of 20 high-end mountain bikes available to riders.Visits to various temples, markets, and monuments can be found by anyone with a map and a bike, but what makes this experience unique are the people and flavors that only someone in the know can show.

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Vang Vieng’ River Of Booze And Tubes May Be River Of No Return

Yesterday the body of Melbourne student Daniel Eimutis, 19, was found in a river in Vang Vieng, three days after he went missing while tubing with friends. Family said he had drowned.
The tragedy comes less than a fortnight after Sydney traveller Lee Hudswell, 26, was killed after jumping from a tower while tubing in the same area. Reports at the time said at least 22 people had died in the river last year.

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Joint Thai-Cambodian Visa To Be Issued, Laos To Follow Later This Year

In a significant first, Thailand and Cambodia have announced they will issue a single 30-day tourist visa to non-ASEAN visitors from February 1, with Vietnam and Laos to be brought into the ambit by end-2012.

Cambodia’s minister of tourism, Thong Khon, revealed that the next step would be “to include Laos and Vietnam, develop the road network well and offer our four countries as a package to foreign visitors, a unique concept offering in Asia”.

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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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Oudomxay – The Heart Of Northern Laos

The Oudomxay province was founded in 1976, as a split off of the much larger Luang Prabang province. In 1987 Muang Xay became the capital of the province.
Oudomxay province offers a large range of attractions. The provinces’ key characteristics are its nature, its people and its diverse culture. An overview of possible tours in the area can be found on the web sites of Samlaan Cycling and the Provincial Tourism Department.

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Toko Assurance To Provide Insurance For AirAsia Passengers

Air Asia has appointed Toko Assurance as the exclusive insurer for AirAsia passengers travelling from Wattay International Airport in Vientiane.
All passengers on AirAsia flights will have the option to be covered not only whilst on board their flights but also for the entire duration of their trip when they purchase AirAsia travel protection.
J&C Services, being one of the leading agents of Toko Assurance and their top agency in the “non-motor” insurance market, also attended the signing ceremony.

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Regal To Build Largest 5-Star Hotel In Laos

The US$100 million hotel is a joint investment between the Ministry of National Defense, which will hold a 25 percent shareholding and the Regal Global Investment Development Group. The project contract is for a period of 99 years and the hotel will replace the existing Rasavong Hotel at km5 area in Xaysettha district.

According to the group, the hotel will consist of 350 rooms, including 20 VIP rooms and 30 suite rooms, on a total area of 120,000 square meters.
The hotel will also contain a shopping complex, as well as restaurants, entertainment facilities and a cinema.

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Nong Khai’s Aquarium – A Closeup Look At The Mekong River Fish

If you’re looking for an interesting and educational experience not far from Vientiane, the little known Nong Khai Aquarium might be right up your alley.
Just over the border on the road leading to Udon Thani is the biggest aquarium in Northeastearn Thailand at Khon Kaen University’s Campus in Nong Khai.
The idea is to conserve freshwater fish in the Mekong River as well as to stimulate tourism in the province.

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Wattay Airport To Be Upgraded

The upgrade project includes runway renovation, parking space expansion, drainage system renovations and road upgrades.
The project aims to improve and expand apron 02 and apron 03 to provide 25 aircraft parking stands, improve the airport drainage system, and expand the turn pad of the runway to meet the requirements of Code-E aircraft operation.

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Wat Si Muang – Vientiane’s Corner Stone

Wat Si Muang is not as well known as Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Sisaket but Wat Si Muang nevertheless has a special attraction.

Founded in 1563 under the reign of King Setthathirath it was destroyed by the Siamese in 1828, like most other temples in Vientiane, rebuilt in 1915 and renovated in 1960. Wat Si Muang is currently in good condition and well maintained. The temple is situated at the junction of Samsenthai and Setthathirath road. A statue of King Sisavangvong is in a nearby park just next to the main entrance.

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Chao Anouvong – Last King of Lane Xang

Chao Anouvong or by most Lao people called Chao Anou (1767-1829) was the last king of the former Lao kingdom of Lan Xang. Chao Anouvong was ruling from 1805 to 1828 in Vientiane. He came to power after his brother’s death.

Chao Anouvong had long been an ally of the Thai monarchs against the Burmese invaders. Unfortunately his accomplishments and support of the Thai kingdom was not well recognized by them.

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Lao Experiences Cooking Class

I have long wished for some kind of cultural experience that could be had within the city limits, so I was excited to learn about a new half day cooking class called “Lao Experiences”.

The Lao Experience begins at 9:30 when you meet at Full Moon Cafe for pick up and a scenic ride out to the cooking school, which is on the Mekong in the Thaduea area. The cooking instruction starts at 10 am and the class concludes at 1, with 1:30 drop off back at Full Moon Cafe.

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French And Lao Colonial Buildings In Vientiane

While touring through Vientiane one will encounter French colonial Villas and administration buildings, old Lao town houses, hidden and forgotten shrines of Vientiane’s guardian deities, small spirit houses and famous temples.
Among those last ones are Wat Si Muang – where the city pillar of Vientiane is located -, Wat Sisaket – which miraculously survived the Siamese invasion -, or Wat Ho Phra Keo, the former temple of the revered Emerald Buddha.

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Roundtrip to Nam Ngum Lake

The usual spots for tourists to see in Laos are Vientiane for one night, then Luang Prabang and maybe Pakse. But there are many more places to visit. For example, Nam Ngum lake.
Leave Vientiane on Highway 13 east and follow then Highway 10. On the way, you can make some nice stops.
First is the Lao Zoo. It might be not as big as the ones in your home country, but it is actually worth a visit. They have crocodiles and deers, gibbons, bears, many different species of birds.

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