VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Authorities in the tourist hotspot of Vangvieng district, Vientiane province, are preparing to welcome an influx of visitors under new normal conditions next year, when Laos reopens to tourists.
The Governor of Vangvieng district, Bounchan Malavong, told Vientiane Times that provincial authorities are planning for the return of visitors next year if the government opens up the country to tourists as planned.
Visitor attractions and accommodation will be restored and upgraded after being closed for many months during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Authorities will also improve infrastructure, create new tourism products and take steps to regulate the price of services and food.
It is expected that visitor numbers will surge when the Laos-China railway comes into service as there is now a station in Vangvieng.
There will also be checks on the quality of accommodation. Hotels and guesthouses that are considered to be substandard will not be allowed to reopen.
Facilities that have been used as quarantine centres will also not be allowed to reopen, and no persons considered to be at risk of infection will be accommodated in order to reduce the risk of further infections, Bounchan said.
Vangvieng district is within easy reach of Vientiane and travel time by road is now about 90 minutes on the Vientiane-Vangvieng expressway.
The riverside town offers a wide range of activities. There are monthly festivals, stunning landscapes, and lots of exciting adventure opportunities.
The Nam Xong river gives visitors the chance to kayak, float downstream in an inner tube, jump from rope swings, or rent a longtail boat for a spectacular trip.
Other attractions include Jang and Poukham caves, the blue lagoon and Kaeng Nyui waterfall, and zip-lines.
Further north in Oudomxay province, authorities will continue with tourism developments agreed to in recent years but which had to be put on hold because of the pandemic.
There are plans for 11 tourism development projects in Xay district, which include setting up homestays, building restaurants, and developing other tourism products in villages near Tham Chom-Ong cave, which is one of the province’s top attractions.
Authorities also plan to build a park and night market where local products will be on sale, and to build visitor facilities at waterfalls and hot springs.
Oudomxay is considered to be one of the most attractive provinces in Laos, and is a place where tourists can experience untouched nature and culture.
The province is home to the magnificent Nam Kat waterfall while the Singkham Buddha temple is one of the most striking in the area and Tad Talae waterfall is especially impressive after heavy rains.