Railway to take more Chinese tourists to Laos, a beautiful neighbor
If I am bored one day, I will get on a Kunming bullet train in the morning and reach Vientiane, Laos in the evening. I’ll feed the pigeons under a Bodhi tree alone for a whole afternoon, and without saying a word take another train back to Kunming the next day.
--- Nicholas, the editor
Recently, good news on building the China-Laos railway came to us one after another. This railway linking Kunming to Laos, the country of hermits, is around the corner.
The Manzhang Tunnel on the Yuxi-Mohan railway was completed on October 21.
Sections of the 495.6m Ganlanba bridge were joined in south Yunnan on October 18.
Also, an amazing video on the railway’s Lao section went viral online, making a hit in the cyber world. The 926 km China-Laos Railway consists of the Chinese section and the Lao section.
The Chinese section starts in Kunming and ends in the border town Mohan. Passing through the cites of Yuxi, Pu'er and Jinghong, the section extends for 508 kilometers. The 414 km Lao section starts in Boten and reaches Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
With a designed speed of 160 km per hour, the China-Laos railway is expected to be fully operational in 2021. The China-Laos railway is of great significance for bilateral relations. And it is thus highly anticipated.
For China, this railway makes another international passage from southwest. In the future, China-Laos Railway will be extended to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, serving the construction of the China-ASEAN free trade area. For Yunnan, the railway will shorten the Kunming-Xishuangbanna trip to 3 hours, putting the Dai prefecture into the rail network.
The railway is the "No. 1 Project" for Lao government for it will turn the landlocked country into a land linked one. The railway will be conducive to Lao transportation, economic growth and social progress.
Lattanamany Khounnyvong, Lao Vice Minister of Public Works and Transport , said that China-Laos railway is the top project in the eighth five-year plan of Laos, and is of great significance for Laos.
The Lao people believe the railway will make it easier for them to travel from Vientiane to Jinghong or Kunming.
When the railway opens to traffic, the morning train from Kunming will reach Xishuangbanna in 3 hours and Vientiane in the evening. Laos will be another destination favored by Yunnan tourists.
With a long history, Vientiane has been the capital and economic center of Laos since the 14th century. The Arc de Triomphe, or the Victory Gate, is a top tourist attraction in Vientiane, built to commemorate the Lao independence.
No.2: Luang Prabang
It is a famous ancient capital and Buddhist center in Laos. The beautiful and unique place is recognized as the most charming old town in Southeast Asia.
No.3: Vang Vieng
Like the Guilin scenic area in China’s Guangxi, Vang Vieng has the quiet Nam Song River, the karst landform, and amazing caves. All make the area idyllic.
No.4: Si Phan Don
Meaning 4000 islands, Si Phan Don is an archipelago in a wide section of the Mekong River. The sight is most visible in the dry season when it is touristy.
As the capital city of Champasak province, Pakse is a pleasant city worth a long stay. It boasts beautiful waterfalls.
By Zhu Dongran and Wang Shixue