Thailand and Laos in talks to link tourism routes and build second bridge

Photo by Yosi Bitran on Unsplash

In a bid to boost tourism and enhance relations, Thailand and Laos initiated discussions to connect tourism routes and expedite the construction of a second Thai-Lao friendship bridge in the Pak Chom district of Loei. The talks took place yesterday between Tawee Sermpakdeekul, the governor of Loei, and Khamphan Sithidampha, the governor of Laos’ Vientiane province, during the 20th Thai-Lao border security meeting at S Vangvieng Boutique Hotel.

The meeting, which included not only Loei’s governor but also his deputy Narong Jeenam, 28th military circle chief Major General Prich Sukantasri, and various officials, centred on tourism promotion, cultural exchanges, and economic, social, and security cooperation with Laos.

This move follows the Thai government’s decision to implement a free-visa policy for Chinese visitors, prompting Laos to upgrade its Muen border town in Vientiane to accommodate the expected increase in Chinese tourism to Thailand with travellers potentially visiting Laos as well.

Tawee noted that the location of Muen town, which is near the Pak Chom district in Laos, could serve as a gateway to link popular attractions in both Loei and Vientiane. This includes a tourism route between Chiang Khan and Pak Chom districts in Loei, Thailand to Vang Vieng and Feuang districts in Vientiane, Laos.

“We have a border checkpoint in Loei for tourists to cross from Pak Chom to Muen but Laos has only a temporary checkpoint. We will ask for cooperation from Laos to upgrade the checkpoint to be a permanent one by the end of this year.”

In addition, Loei also plans to construct the second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Pak Chom district. This project is set to enhance tourism, trade, investment, and logistics between Thailand and Laos. The first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Loei currently connects Loei’s Tha Li district and Kenethao City in Laos, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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