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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 company held a press conference in Vientiane yesterday to announce the news and launch their latest service. The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. Speaking at the conference, Managing Director of Lao Air Mr Bounma Chanthavongsa said 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,” he said.

Lao Air 02Lao 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 US$50 (399,000 kip) to US$150 (around 1.2 million kip), depending on the route chosen and the number of people taking the trip. Flights are available from 9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday.

For US$50, passengers get a 15 minute trip over the city centre from Wattay International Airport. This gives them a bird’s-eye view of Vientiane’s top tourist attractions, including Chao Anouvong Park, the Patuxay Monument and the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre, before returning to the airport.

For US$75, passengers get to experience all of the above and more. The 20 minute trip, starting at the airport takes passengers along the Mekong River. The helicopter then sweeps over Chao Anouvong Park, right across the city and its monuments and important structures, such as the National University of Laos, then back along the river and over above the Friendship Bridge, which links Laos with Thailand. This final stop is the ideal place to take some snaps, as it offers unique, unforgettable views.

For US$150, passengers can spend 35 minutes taking in the sky-high city scenes. With this extra time, they are treated to aerial views of the grand Don Chan Palace hotel, as well as the city’s National Stadium, where many of the country’s most important sporting events are held.

The service is open to both domestic and foreign tourists, who are advised to contact the company at least one hour ahead of their preferred flying time. Lao Air also offers an information brochure on the service. Foreign visitors are required to use their passports to validate their booking.

Lao Air has been offering chartered and public domestic air travel from Vientiane since it was established in 2002.

Published with the permission of Vientiane Times