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It would take longer time than expect as State Council and Politburo are going to cut down the budget of Ministry of Railways along with curbing all corruption and collusion practices (e.g. procurement at the prices multiple times than the market prices)
 

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Oz-Asian
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Nok Air offers bus hop



February 28, 2012 by Rapeepat Mantanarat
Filed under Aviation, News


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BANGKOK, 28 February 2012: Nok Air will team up with bus companies to provide an overland connection from Udon Thani to Vientiane starting 14 March.

Restricted to just domestic services in Thailand, Nok Air will offer passengers travelling to Udon Thani, the nearest airport town to Nong Khai on the border with Laos, a bus service to the immigration checkpoint. It hopes to capture some of the visa-run traffic and attract travellers who want to visit Vientiane but need to save on the international fare.

The service will pick up passengers from the Bangkok-Udon Thani flight and transfer them to the First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge checkpoint and then to Vientiane in Laos. It is not as seamless as it sounds.

Udon Keaw Tour provides the transfer from Udon Thani Airport to the Thai-Lao border checkpoint, in Nong Khai. Once passengers pass through the Lao checkpoint, they board a Trans Express bus to the Lao capital.

Passengers need to pay the Bt20 fee for transport to cross the Friendship Bridge and they have to carry their own baggage through the checkpoint to the Lao transit terminal.

Though the airline operates five daily flights, the eligible flight for the Fly ‘n’ Ride will depart Don Mueang Airport at 0600. Passengers should arrive in Vientiane at 1100. The actual flight is one hour, leaving four hours for the overland transfer.

On the return sector, the bus to the border will depart Vientiane at 1400. Passengers have two choices. They can depart on the 1545 or 1715 bus from Nong Khai to reach Udon Thani in time to catch the 1805 or 2045 flight. In Vientiane, the bus picks up and drops off passengers on Samsenthai Road.

To introduce the new service, Nok Air offers and all-inclusive fare of Bt3,200 while the standard fare is around Bt4,000. The service can be booked through its online channel.

When compared to a nonstop flight from Bangkok, Nok Air’s Fly ‘n’ Ride offers cost savings for budget travellers and is more convenient than Thai AirAsia that does not offer a bus service packaged into the fare.

But it is still a tiring and time consuming process for passengers. The main drawback is carrying luggage between buses. All passengers have to transfer to a bus that crosses the bridge only between the two immigration checkpoints. There is no one-stop shop for immigration. That is a myth cherished by government officials who head Mekong region tourism, but meaningless to travellers who need to queue twice with the their passports at either end of the bridge.

Thailand’s immigration is on one side of the almost 1 km long bridge and the Lao authorities on the other. Once through the passport checkpoints the passenger has to walk to the nearby terminal to board the bus bound for Vientiane.

It will exhaust all but very healthy and robust travellers, particularly during the hot season when temperatures soar to nearly 40 degrees centigrade.

There are only two airlines fly between Bangkok and Vientiane — Thai Airways International and Lao Airlines. THAI sells its online fares from Bt10,825, or Bt7,985 through its 52nd Anniversary promotion, but for travel from 1 May to 30 September. Meanwhile, Lao Airlines quotes a fare of around Bt8,000.

In addition, Nok Air will also strengthen its northeast network by adding an extra daily flight to Sakhon Nakhon up to two flights daily from one starting from 25 March.

The flights will depart from Don Mueang Airport at 0610 and 1320 and from Sakhon Nakhon at 0750 and 1520. While the present daily flight is operated by ATR, in the summer schedule the morning flight will be operated by a 150-seat B737 and the second with an ATR.

Nakhon Phanom’s capacity will be cut down to a smaller aircraft as the Boeing used for the twice daily service shifts to the busier Sakhon Nakhon route.

http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2012/02/nok-air-offers-bus-hop/
 

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Oz-Asian
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Lao set to open new resort
Tuesday, 28 February 2012




Lao hospitality is set to take-on a worldwide standard of comfort as it prepares to launch its first Resort to target the high-end market in Vang Vieng.

Opening its doors in April this year, The Riverside Boutique Resort will host up to 34 rooms and suites that feature ethnic drawings that promote the region’s cultural and natural diversity.

Located on the banks of Nam Song River, mid-way between Luang Prabang and Vientiane, each room will be designed to offer a views over the limestone mountains as well as sit central around the swimming pool.

“While many visitors to Laos are initially attracted by the UNESCO heritage city of Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng captures best the natural beauty of the country,” the hotel said release on PR.com.

“With its breath-taking views of rock and limestone mountains, caves and rock outcrops overhanging the Nam Song River, it offers unique sceneries and a range of outdoor activities.”

http://www.etravelblackboardasia.com/article/82025/lao-set-to-open-new-resort
 

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Phongsavanh Bank ATM can be used in Thailand
ASTV 28 Feb 2012

Phongsavanh Bank has signed up the contract with Bangkok Bank PCL to allow ATM cards of Phongsavanh Bank to be used in Thailand ... Free of surcharge at the first year - afte the contract with Bangkok Bank on FOREX trading. Next is the case of allowing ATM cards of Bangkok Banks to be used in Laos ....

Phongsavanh Bank is also going to sing up the contact with Vietnamese Bank to allow ATM cards of Phongsavanh Bank to be used in Vietnam next year and the whole ASEAN sooner or later.
 

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Updating from Udonthani Chamber of Commerce

Now, Transportation Co.Ltd. has worked together with the private bus enterprise (Malinee Transportation) in Laos to offer the cross border bus from Udon Thani to Vang Viang started on 2 march 2012 -

Bus from Udon Thani is running once a day from Udon Thani Bus terminal No.1 at 9 AM to reach Vang Vieng at 4 PM with the ticket price of 320 Baht + 5 Baht surcharge when the bus cross the Friendship Bridge. - It is a second class Aircon bus with 44 seats. For those who take a ride from Nong Khai, the ticket rate is 270 Baht + 5 Baht surcharge

Bus from Vang Viang is running once a day fromVang Viang Bus terminal at 8 AM to reach Udon Thani at 3 PM with the ticket price of 83,000 Kip + 5000 Kip surcharge when the bus cross the Friendship Bridge. - It is a second class Aircon bus with 44 seats

Both buses have insurance to cover at 200,000 Baht per passenger.

BTW, the exchange rate is now 26000 Kip = 100 Baht even though the exchange rate is fluctuated around 26000-28000 Kip per 100 Baht

Transportation Co. Ltd has offered the cross border buses to Loas in the following routes other than the latest addition

Nognkhai - Viengchan
Udon Thani - Viengchan
Khon Kaeng - viengchan
Nakhon Ratchasima - Viengchan
Nakhon Phanom - Kham Muan
Mukdahan - Savannakhet
Ubon Ratchathani - Pakse

http://www.thanonline.com/index.php...0-13&catid=129:2009-02-08-11-47-38&Itemid=479
 

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ปิง-สุ-เ&#3585
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ສະບາຍດີ

Congratz for Laos Forum !

ในฟอรั่มนี้ มีคนลาวแท้ๆ เล่นอยู่บ้างไหมครับ ?
 

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instagram: t.l.rekarte
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Congrats for Laos Forum!:cheers:

I hope that now,new laotians forummers join in SSC and Lao Forum grow up:)
 

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Phongsavanh Bank Starting the Banking Services in Thailand
Manager Weekly 360 Degrees - 1 March 2012 - 13:22

Phongsavanh Bank (the 1st private Bank of Laos) is starting the Banking Services in Thailand for those Lao people working along the border as well as in BKK by allowing them to use ATM cards of Phongsavanh Bank in Bangkok Bank PCL ATM Machines - with no charge for the first year.

Now, Phongsavanh Bank has set up the representative officer at Central World in BKK and it is going to expand its banking business in Vietnam.

AEC has motivated Thai Bankers to make a cooperation with neighbor bankers while allowing foreign Banks to set up its offices in Thailand while BOT is going to allow more foreign Banks to set up the offices in Thailand.

Now, Phongsavanh Bank from Lao PDR has made a cooperation on ATM service, allowing those who hold Phongsavanh Bank ATM cards to withdraw the cash in Thai Baht from ATM Machines of Bangkok Bank PCL nationwide.

Now, Khun Phaibun Phongsavanh (deputy Manager who is also a son of Mr Odd Phongsavanh - the founder of Phongsavanh Bank) is saying that this is just the first step since so many Lao traders are working along the boundary provinces along with several Lao people coming to Thailand for tourism as well as Business affairs which causes more demands for cross border Banking services. So, Phongsavanh Bank has to give such a service to facilitate more cross border trading instead of carrying bundles of cash ...

Next phase is to allow those Thai customers of Bangkok Bank to withdraw the cash from Phongsavanh Bank ATMs in Lao Kips as the way to promote more spending in Kip denominations. No fees for the first year and the service starts from 2 February 2012. After that, the fees to be collected from the cross border ATM services will be a lot cheaper than using VISA cash cards. This will also allows the remittance through ATM services ...

This is a major step after making a cooperation with Bangkok Bank for Baht - Kip exchange in 2010.

Now, There are almost 100000 ATM cards of Phongsavanh Bank from 7 Branches of the bank and 5 more branches will be added. The loan is just 70% of the deposits for Major customers, SMEs and retailers ... along with quick and cheap personal loans with NPL only 4% of registered capitals.

Interest rates at Phongsavanh Bank:
Deposit in Lao Kips: 10%
Deposit in Thai Baht: 6.5%
Deposit in US Dollars: 7%

Loan rates: 14-17% with the inflation rate of 7-8% and BIS funds more than 10%

Next is the business in Vietnam - right after opening the representative office in Hanoi on 22 Feb 2012 to facilitate cross border tradings.

Now, Phongsavanh Bank just opening the representative office at Central World, BKK but further development into full fledged branch in Thailand will take time when the cross border trade grows to the right point but need to consults with Bangkok Bank as well as Bank of Thailand for this issue.

Now, TISCO Financial firm has made a help on Phongsavanh Bank in the first 5 years to become PCL in the stock market along with the opening of Phongsavanh Airlines which has become Lao Central Airlines now.
 

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Oz-Asian
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China to help Laos switch to digital radio, TV

China has agreed to help Laos transfer its analog broadcasting system to the Chinese terrestrial digital standard and construct a digital radio and television network throughout the country.








Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara ( left ) and Mr Zhang Xiao Jiang sign the Memorandum of Understanding.


Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara and Deputy Head of the Development and Reform Committee of China Ms Zhang Xiao Jiang jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the cooperation project in Beijing on February 29, witnessed by officials from Laos and China.

The project is one of several included in the master plan on economic and technical cooperation between the two countries for the period 2011 to 2015.

Under the MOU, the Chinese side, represented by the Development and Reform Committee of China and rela ted radio and television organisations in China, will help radio and television stations in Laos under the guidance of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to change from terrestrial analog radio and television broadcasting to a Chinese standard digital system. Chi na will also build a digital radio and television network throughout Laos within this timeframe.



http://www.vientianetimes.org.la/FreeContent/FreeContent_China.htm
 

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Laos opens cave tourism



March 5, 2012 by Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit
Filed under Laos PDR, News


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WIANG PHUKA, 5 March 2012: A remote cave in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s Wiang Phuka district has been opened for tourists.

Situated 12 km from Wiang Phuka town, Kao Rao cave was officially opened for tourism, 1 January. Officials believe it can attract international travellers interested in nature trails, mainly Europeans who stay in the country for two weeks or more.

The cave pioneer, Sriwang Kaewmanee, told TTR Weekly that he found the cave in 2001 and asked the Lao’s government to support efforts to introduce it to tourists.

“I spent considerable cash from my own pocket, but the Lao government supported my efforts with US$100,000 to put in infrastructure and electricity.”

Mr Sriwang said around 1,500 international visitors visited the cave since it opened, mainly Germans, Thais and Chinese.

“The cave earns revenue for the district and helps the local economy,” he added.

The income from an entrance fees is shared; 20% for Nam Hang villagers as the cave is located in their district; 30% for Wiang Phuka tourism office; and 50% for the Lao government.

A highlight of the cave is a huge stalactite shaped like a bathtub, which villagers believe was once a place where the legendary serpent, Naga, rested and bathed.

The Kao Rao Cave opens daily and Mr Sriwang and his team (four people) are on stand-by to welcome visitors daily.

The admission fee for Thais and international visitors is Bt40 or 10,000 kip.

Visitors are given flashlights to explore the cave. For safety reasons visitors need to wear strong canvas shoes and clothing suitable for trekking.

The cave does not have roped off paths so visitors have to be cautious and follow the instructions of the guides.




http://www.ttrweekly.com/site/2012/03/laos-opens-cave-tourism/
 

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For those want to go to Viengchan via Udon Thani or Nong Khai, please take a look at this bus schedule - taken Nong Khai Bus terminal by Khun tttt2549

 

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Anyone share any information about top 10 millionaires (Possible billionaire) in Lao?
So far, I can think about the lady who own Dao Hueang Coffee and the founder of Phongsavanh Bank ... Not so sure about the ones who owned privatized companies in Laos though ... but they need to have some connections with Politburo to ensure their sustainable prosperity.
 

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Lao energy developer powers on





Posted by LV on Monday, March 12, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Electricity developer Lao Holding State Enterprise (LHSE) has pursued a path of rapid growth in the power sector during the seven years it has been in operation.

LHSE was established in February 2005 and its first investment was in the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project, in which it holds a 25 percent share.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting in Vientiane on Friday, General Manager Dr Somboune Manolom said “Now we are a shareholder in nine power plant construction projects with installed capacity of 5,393 megawatts (MW) and the ability to generate about 29,220 million kWh annually.” Dr Somboune said the nine projects represented an investment of about 86 trillion kip (US$10,730 million), including US$715 million from LHSE.

Friday’s meeting was attended by Energy and Mines Minister Mr Soulivong Daravong, along with officials from the ministries of Finance, Planning and Investment, Home Affairs, Natural Resources and Environment, and Justice, as well as staff from other companies.

The nine hydropower plants in which LHSE has a stake are NT2, Nam Ngum 3, Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noi, Nam Ngiep 1, Nam Theun 1, Xekong 4, Xekong 5, Nam Kong 1 and Hongsa Thermal Electric Power.

Dr Somboune said 2011 was the first year the enterprise earned income from NT2 worth about 271 billion kip (US$33.79 million), including dividends worth about 117 billion kip (US$14.6 million). This figure was a 21.4 percent increase from the target of about US$12.1 million.

The company paid taxes of US$1.46 million. “This was also 21.4 percent over the target,” Dr Somboune said.

Construction of the Hongsa Thermal Electric Power plant began in October 2010 and was 9.7 percent complete by the end of last year. The project is set for completion by the end of 2015.

“This plant is the largest power project to be built in Laos, with a value of 29.7 trillion kip (US$3,710 million), including US$220 million in Lao government shares,” he said.

The Nam Ngum 3, Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noi and Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower plants are undergoing the final negotiations for agreements and construction will then go ahead, a press release noted.

“Construction of these plants will start by the end of this year or early next year. We expect them to be complete and begin commercial operation in 2017 and 2018,” Dr Somboune said. Memorandums of understanding on tariff rates had been signed with electricity purchasers, he added. Other agreements will soon be signed with the government, including concession agreements, power purchase agreements and financial agreements.

Documents are being prepared for four other projects that will be put forward to the government this year.

At the meeting, in recognition of the company’s five-year anniversary, on behalf of the government Mr Soulivong presented Labour Order medals classes 1, 2 and 3 to the LHSE and to staff who had been particularly productive. Other awards presented included labour medals and government certificates of congratulations.

Source: Vientiane Times

http://laovoices.com/lao-energy-developer-powers-on/
 

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MBRkhmer
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Hi everyone here!

Do you know how many international borders between Lao with China?
Any information or pictures please.
Thanks!
 
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