Tourist train bound for Laos gathers steam

AT 69, Zhu Guichu loves sightseeing but is not fond of air travel. So in planning his recent eight-day trip to Laos, the retiree from China’s Guizhou province opted for a tourist train.

On March 8, Zhu joined a 200-member tour group to visit the South-East Asian nation.

A “panda train” took them to the border area of Yunnan province, where they transferred to the China-Laos Railway to continue their tour through Laos.

“I like travelling by train as it is safe and reliable, and you won’t feel too tired because all the destinations are near the rail stations,” said Zhu in Guiyang.

The panda-themed train Zhu boarded is converted from a “green train”, the slower predecessor of high-speed bullet trains.

Apart from decorating carriages with panda images, the train features hotel-style compartments, bars for drinking, karaoke rooms and other entertainment facilities to compensate for its slower speed. — Xinhua

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