China-built railway boosts travel and tourism

  • Laos
  • Wednesday, 30 Nov 2022

Efficient transportation: The Chinese-built railway brings hopes of an economic boost to the landlocked nation. — AFP

THE China-Laos Railway has significantly bolstered passenger transportation, greatly facilitated travel, and helped promote tourism in Laos since its launch in December 2021.

The China-Laos railway has shortened the travelling time between cities along the route, enabling people along the line to seek education, visit families or receive medical attention a lot faster.

Kingkeo Duangphanam, a 32-year-old mother from Luang Prabang province, said that travelling to and from her hometown with her newborn baby has become far more convenient since the railway started operation.

“This is my sixth time travelling on the railway. I came to Lao capital Vientiane yesterday to take my kids to a hospital. Today, I am going back to Luang Prabang,” she said.

She went on to say that travelling by train is comfortable and not as tiring as travelling by bus.

“I love travelling by train because it cuts travel time between Vientiane and Luang Prabang from eight to nine hours to around just two hours,” said Kingkeo.

The China-Laos Railway is a docking project between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Laos’ strategy to convert itself from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub.

The electrified passenger and cargo railway that went fully operational on Dec 3, 2021, is built with the full application of Chinese management and technical standards.

The latest report issued by the Tourism Development Department under the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism at the end of August showed the outlook for the country’s tourism industry is positive.

The full operation of the China-Laos Railway, and the appeal of the scenic Vangvieng, the Luang Prabang World Heritage Site, and the low value of the kip (Lao currency), are among the main attractions for visitors from neighbouring countries, said the report.

Deputy Head of Luang Prabang province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Chansamone Thipphavanh, told local media recently that in the first 10 months of 2022, 335,794 tourists, comprising 85.27% of the total, arrived in Luang Prabang by train. — Xinhua

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