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Businesses Ordered to Relocate to Make Way for New Tourist Complex in Vang Vieng

Source: Vientiane Times

Authorities in Vangvieng​ district, Vientiane province, have ordered shops, restaurants, and various service providers currently operating around the town’s old airport to move from 16 hectares site because there are plans to turn it into a large tourist complex.

The Governor of Vangvieng district, Mr. Bounchan Malavong, told the Vientiane Times that the old airport covers the villages of Vangvieng,​Savang,​ Viengkeo,​ Meuang​xong, and Phonpheng.

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A private company has been awarded a concession to develop the area, with guesthouses,​ hotels, a public park, a hospital, a night market, supermarkets, and other facilities planned.

It is estimated that it will take up to five years to complete construction. The company has been awarded a 50-year concession and will invest US$200 million in the project. Construction will start as soon as all the business owners have vacated their premises and left the site.

This means that businesses currently occupying the site must relocate, and all buildings in the concession area must be vacated and demolished by the end of this month. The order came into effect on April 19.

The concessionaire will fence off the site and plans to start the construction of new facilities in the immediate future. The company will not be responsible for any damage done to buildings that are still standing, a Vangvieng district official said. Vangvieng​ is one of Laos’ most popular tourist destinations because of its adventure activities and its riverside location in a rural area lined with dramatic karst outcrops. The riverside town offers a wide range of activities, including monthly festivals. The Nam Xong River gives visitors the chance to kayak, float downstream in an inner tube, jump from rope swings, or rent a longtail boat for a spectacular trip.

Other attractions include Jang and Poukham caves, the blue lagoon and Kaeng Nyui waterfall, and zip lines.

Vangvieng is within easy reach of Vientiane and travel time is now about 90 minutes using the Vientiane-Vangvieng expressway, while trains on the Laos-China railway also operate from Vientiane and point north.