Govt Plates Must Be Removed From Private Vehicles

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

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More Countries Join Japan, Korea In Restricting Thai Carriers

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

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Parking Your Car in Laos

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

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Vientiane To Set Up Sustainable Transport System: ADB

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

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Missing Manhole Covers Continue To Cause Concern

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

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

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

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The Elephant Caravan Laos 2015

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

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Saviours of the Street – Vientiane Rescue

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

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Lao Airports Ready For Asean Flights

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

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Fuel Prices To Keep On Dropping

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

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Laos & Japan Sign Air Service Agreement

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

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The Exploding Accident Rate In Vientiane

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

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Laos Rail Development On Fast Track With Thailand, China Line

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

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Speeding Truck Kills British Tourist In Champassak

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

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175 People Killed In Vientiane Road Accidents

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

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All Passenger Vehicles Should Carry Fire Extinguishers, Officials Warn

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

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Traffic Chaos In Vientiane After Morning Deluge

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

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Reckless Driving Responsible For Road Fatalities

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

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Govt Approves Rapid Bus Lane Project

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

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Manhole Covers Stolen For Scrap Metal Value

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

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Govt May Re-Impose Vehicle Quota

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

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Inpeng Culture & Entertainment Park: Vientiane’s Newest Attraction

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

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Fatal Head-On Deadly Reminder To Slowdown

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

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

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

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Vientiane Canal To Expand Car Parking

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

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Lao Leaders Pay Respect For Those Died From The Plane Crash

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

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Lao Military Plane With Defense Chief Crashes

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

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Road Tax Is Back Again !

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

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Spike In Fatal High Speed Crashes: Vientiane

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

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Night Bus Adventure In Laos

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

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Surging Vehicle Numbers Intensify Congestion In The Capital

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

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Lao-Thai Train To Provide Logistic Services In 2015

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

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Laos, China Vow To Push Railway Project Forward

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

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Creating Vientiane Bus Lanes Will Encourage More Passengers

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

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Wattay Airport To Undergo Major Expansion

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

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Lao Skyway Launches More Flights North

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

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Quick Lane going for the Quick Buck ?

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

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Import of Bigger Motorbikes Approved

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

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Retailers Of Dirty Fuel Set To Be Closed Soon

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

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Laos Breaks Ground On Railway Project Linking Thailand to Vietnam

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

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New Fleet Of Busses With Electronic Ticketing To Tackle Vientiane Traffic

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

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THAI Smile Flies To Luang Prabang

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

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Avis Arrives In Laos

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

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French May Bring Trolleybuses To Vientiane

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

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Motorway Development Being Considered For Laos

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

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Vientiane Plans More One-Way Roads

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

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Infrastructure in Laos: One night to Bangkok

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

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Gridlock After One-Way System Introduced

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

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Chao Fangum Road To Become One-Way

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

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Traffic System In Vientiane To Be Improved

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

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Laos & Philippines Ready To Plug Into Electric Vehicles

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

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Heritage Architecture Being Lost

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

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Flash Flooding Hampers Heavy Vehicle Movement On South Road

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

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Logistics And The Lao Economy: Linking Up And Reaching Out

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

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Electric Buses Pose Challenges For Transport Business

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

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Car Loan Interest Rates Continue To Decline

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

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Lao Air Plane Crashes On Takeoff In Huaphan

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

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Toyota Establishes Production Base In Laos

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

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‘Driving Licences Not For Sale’: Official

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

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Vientiane Highway Forges Ahead

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

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See Vientiane’s Sights From New Heights

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

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Hot Air Ballooning in Vang Vieng

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

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Luang Prabang Bus Crash Death Toll Rises

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

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High Speed Rail From Savannakhet To Vietnam border; Contract Signed

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

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Laos-China Rail Project Goes Full Steam Ahead

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

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

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

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Lao Govt To Delay Car Usage Tax

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

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Lao Central Airline Campaigns Destination Bangkok and Luang Prapang

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

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

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PC Air Set For Laos Flights

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

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Don’t Drive Without Insurance

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

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