Pandaw launches second Mekong boat

September 18, 2017 by  
Filed under cruises, Laos PDR, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 18 September 2017: A new double-deck river boat, RV Sabei Pandaw, will set sail shortly on the Mekong River offering trips through Laos to Yunnan province in China.

The 45-metre vessel has been specially designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Mekong River and the navigational challenges of narrow gorges strewn with massive boulders.

Its owner, Pandaw River Expeditions claims the shallow draft will enable it to offer year-round cruises to and from Yunnan China passing through Laos. Read more

Laos rethinks rail compensation

September 1, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 31 August 2017: Lao PDR has assured village communities it will improve compensation payments to expropriate land needed for the China- Laos high-speed railway.

The national news agency reported, Thursday, that Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, Bounchan Chanthawng, had hosted consultative meeting to mediate terms covering compensation for communities affected by the construction of the railway project.

The meeting was held earlier in the week in Luang Prabang. Read more

Economic experts gather in Laos

August 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Events, Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 28 August 2017: The deadline for booking a place at the 41st Southeast Asian Seminar for “Economic Development in Laos and the Greater Mekong Region has been extended to 10 September.

Organised by the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University and the Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos, the event will be hosted in Lao PDR’s capital, Vientiane, 2 to 7 November.

According to the organiser’s blurb, Greater Mekong Sub-region countries Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos share several common economic development strategies that provide opportunities for investment. Read more

THAI Smile returns to Luang Prabang

August 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Laos PDR, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 21 August 2017: Thai Smile says it will resume flights between Bangkok and Luang Prabang starting1 October.

Thai Smile launched flights to Luang Prabang in 2014 and halted them in 2016, without an announcement or explanation to passengers or the travel trade.

According to the airline’s website, the upcoming route will operate with four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Read more

Lao Air back to Singapore

VIENTIANE, 1 August 2017: Lao Airlines will relaunch a flight between Vientiane and Singapore starting 29 October.

According to the airline website, the route will be operated with three weekly flights Wednesday, Friday and Sunday using an Airbus A320.

Earlier this year Lao Airlines halted direct flights from Vientiane to Singapore without giving any credible reasons according to Vientiane Times. Read more

Laos studies potential tourist sites

July 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, News

SAVANNAKHET, 13 July 2017: Savannakhet province, in central Laos bordering Thailand, plans to develop Xe Salalong reservoir, in Thapangthong district, as a new tourist destination.

Lao News Agency reported the Savannakhet Information Culture and Tourism Department joined forces with authorities from Thapangthong district to survey Xe Salalong reservoir to collect information and identify possible tourist attractions.

The survey identified sites at the reservoir for a tourist service centre, a boat marina, a protected nature park, a community handicraft centre and a parking area for buses and cars. Read more

Lao Airlines shares for sale?

July 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 11 July 2017: Lao government says it is ready to recruit new stakeholders for Lao Airlines as part of its efforts to overhaul state-owned enterprises.

Vientiane Times quoted government spokesperson, Chaleun Yiapaoher, saying foreign airlines with “appropriate credentials” were welcome to joint venture with the Lao national flag carrier.

“The government’s intention is not to sell [the whole enterprise], but to seek overseas airline shareholders.” Read more

Visit Year to revive Lao tourism

June 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 28 June 2017: Laos is preparing to launch its “Visit Laos Year 2018” to promote the tourism industry and revive interest in the country at a time when visits are declining.

Lao News Agency quoted Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism’s Tourism Marketing Department general director, Sounh Manivong, said the Visit Laos Year 2018 launch would take place this November to coincide with the That Luang festival.

Well-known celebrations in each province of Laos will be highlighted at the launch ceremony including the Blossom Festival in Bokeo, the Elephant Festival in Sayaboury, and the Lao New Year celebration in Luang Prabang. Read more

Vang Vieng to upgrade standards

June 16, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, News

VIENTIANE, 16 June 2017: Vang Vieng’s tourism authorities will improve the standard of attractions, facilities and services to make the travel experience more rewarding.

Vientiane Times quoted a provincial Information, Culture and Tourism Department official, Boualy Milattanapheng, saying authorities will upgrade tourist attractions, while also implementing service training to meet international standards as the country prepares for Visit Laos Year 2018.

“The department is ranking hotels and guesthouses standards from one to five stars, as well as offering hotel and guesthouse staff training.” Read more

Luang Prabang bucks travel trend

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, Mekong, News

LUANG PRABANG, 14 June 2017: Lao PDR’s World Heritage town Luang Prabang bucked the country’s negative trend in tourist arrivals in 2016 delivering a 5.88% increase, the town’s tourism department reported on the sidelines of the Mekong Tourism Forum last week.

Addressing a press conference, Luang Prabang deputy director Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, Soudaphone Khomthavong, said the destination continues to see positive results during the first quarter of this year, the only province to do so.

Overall, Laos closed 2016 with 4.68 million tourist arrivals, down 12.66% from 4.23 million in 2015. The last time the country saw its tourist arrivals dip was in 2001 and again in 2003. The drop in 2001 was blamed on the terror attack in the US and in 2003 on the SARS epidemic in Asia. Read more

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