SAYABOULY, 23 February 2012: Sayabouly, a province in northwest Laos is counting on its annual elephant festivals to build awareness, while there are plans to upgrade highways and add more international border checkpoints with neighbouring Thailand.
Foreign aid is pouring in from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and German development cooperation through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale (GIZ) and other tourism-related NGOs to build infrastructure, mainly roads and community-based tourism projects.
At the local community level the emphasis is on elephant trekking, herbal spa centres, cotton production, cave exploration and homestay.
BANGKOK, 15 December 2010 – China asked Thailand, during a meeting in Beijing, last week, to speed up approval for an Asian railway project that will link Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.
According to deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaugsuban, who returned from the World Congress on High-Speed Trains held in Beijing, last week, the two countries agreed construction should be completed in no more than four years with a start up date set for December 2011.
However, China urged the Thai government to approve the working details so that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) could be signed in March or April 2011, to ensure the deadline for starting construction could be met later in the year.
BANGKOK, 8 December 2010 – A bilateral aviation agreement has been updated between Macau and Laos lifting capacity restrictions and providing airlines of the two states fifth freedom rights.
The revised agreement was signed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau SAR and the Department of Civil Aviation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic late last month. The previous Aviation Services Agreement was signed between Macau and Laos in 1997. Read more
BEIJING, 8 December 2010 – China and Laos will begin construction early next year of the first high-speed rail line between the two countries, a report said Wednesday, as part of a project to link China and Southeast Asia.
The bullet-train rail line will be completed in around 2014, Laotian Deputy Prime Minister, Somsavat Lengsavad, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying.
Earlier in the week Thai government officials confirmed the project that involves the development of a fast train rail link from Nong Khai on the border with Laos to Bangkok and south to Butterworth in Malaysia would get underway next year. Read more
BANGKOK, 3 December 2010 – Laos intends to charge tourists up to US$2 a visit to finance its overseas promotions, according to the business plan of the recently established Lao Tourism Marketing Board.
A provisional non-elected board has been appointed which will introduce to the Lao travel industry a business model and a proposed strategy to charge tourists to finance its promotions.
LTMB will extend membership to include private sector travel companies during the first quarter of 2011 giving members a say in the policies and management of the board.
BANGKOK, 2 December 2010 – Treetop Explorer, a zip line adventure destination will open in Nong Luang village, Pakxong district, Champasak province in mid-December, managed by Wildside Eco-group, a subsidiary of Vientiane-based Green Discovery Tours.
Quoted in the local press, Green Discovery director, Inthy Deuansavanh, said: “This is a sustainable tourist attraction focusing on natural conservation and the destination will offer another option for visitors who want to enjoy interesting activities in this province,”
PHNOM PENH, 1 December 2010 – When Cambodia tore down a century-old school in the capital this year, conservationists bemoaned the loss of yet another piece of history in former French Indochina in the rush to modernise.
French colonial architecture — with its shuttered windows, grand balconies and pitched tiled roofs — for decades defined the look of cities in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, even after the French pulled out of Indochina in 1954.
But now, hundreds of historic buildings across the region are being knocked down as governments capitalise on rising land prices and attempt to create eye-catching skylines.
BANGKOK, 26 November 2010 – The Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality is seeking a private sector investor to open a 75 to 100-room, four-star hotel on the academy’s property located on the banks of the Mekong River in downtown Vientiane.
The project is funded by a EUR8.5 million bilateral development between Laos and the Luxembourg government to strengthen human resources in the country and to expand the tourism sector.
BANGKOK, 18 November 2010 — Vientiane province will develop a reservoir, popular with residents in the Lao capital, as a nature and eco-tourism resort for international visitors.
Nam Ngum 1 Dam is located about 80 km northeast of the capital and already has a few bungalow resorts and lakeside restaurants.
BANGKOK, 17 November 2010 – Laos began a seven-day celebration, Monday, to mark the 450th anniversary of Vientiane as the nation’s capital.
Celebrations began in earnest 15 November but continue in the city until 21 November, when the anniversary event merges with the annual That Luang Festival, which falls on the full-moon night of the 11th month.
Vientiane was an important administrative city during the reign of King Fa Ngum, the founder of Lan Xang Kingdom. King Setthathirath established Vientiane as the capital city of Lan Xang in 1560.