Source: Vientiane Times
The Laos-China Railway Company Limited is laying on more train journeys over the New Year holiday from December 30-January 3.
Service No. C82 to Boten will depart daily from Vientiane at 8am, arriving in Phonhong at 8:30am, Vangvieng at 9:01am, Luang Prabang at 9:56am, Xay station at 10:46am, and Boten at 11:30am.
On the return journey, trains will depart Boten at 12 noon, arriving at Xay station at 12:31pm, Luang Prabang at 13:17pm, Vangvieng at 14:11pm, Phonhong at 14:41pm, and Vientiane at 15:25pm.
Service No. C84 to Luang Prabang will operate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, departing Vientiane at 16:00pm and arriving in Phonhong at 16:30pm, Vangvieng at 17:01pm, and Luang Prabang at 17:56pm.
On the return journey, the train will depart Luang Prabang at 18:26pm and arrive in Vangvieng at 19:16pm, Phonhong at 19:46pm, and Vientiane at 20:30pm.
Service No. C88 to Boten (available only during the New Year holiday) will depart Vientiane at 9:00am and arrive in Phonhong at 9:30am, Vangvieng at 10:01am, Luang Prabang at 10:56am, Xay station at 11:46am, and Boten at 12:35pm.
On the return journey, the train will depart Boten at 13:05pm and arrive at Xay station at 13:36pm, Luang Prabang at 14:25pm, Vangvieng at 15:22pm, Phonhong at 15:53pm, and Vientiane at 16:35pm.
These trains will stop for only three minutes at each station.
Every day, long queues are forming at Vientiane station as people hope to get tickets for travel on the newly-opened railway. Tickets can only be purchased at train stations and are not available online.
There is huge interest in taking a ride on the train and sampling the novel experience of travelling rapidly through the Lao countryside on an elevated track.
The railway is a gift to the Lao people from the government of China. Its inauguration on December 3 coincided with the 46th anniversary of the Lao PDR and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Laos-China diplomatic relations.
For the time being, journeys are limited to destinations within Laos because of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak and the associated travel restrictions.
Tickets can be purchased three days before the date of departure and passengers must show an ID card and proof of two Covid vaccinations.