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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Vientiane-Khon Kaen bus route to open

Laos and Thailand will open a new bus route next month, a return service from Vientiane to Khon Kaen, aiming to promote trade and tourism.

Deputy Head of the Planning and Transport Divi si on of the State Bus Enterprise, Mr Bounyou Thammasath, said this would be the third Lao-Thai bus route, in addition to return trips from Vientiane to Nong Khai and from Vientiane to Oudon Thani.

From a joint survey carried out by Lao and Thai bus authorities, it was found that the number of people travelling to Khon Kaen was increasing daily.

“At present passengers must first to go Thailand and board a private bus if they want to get to Khon Kaen, paying for two separate journeys - from Vientiane to Nong Khai and from Nong Khai to Khon Kaen,” Mr Bounyou said, adding that the new service would make things much easier for passengers.

The service will begin on February 14, running two buses a day on the 150-km route and charging 50,000 kip or 180 baht.

The buses will depart the Morning Market at 8.15am and 2.15pm.

There are plans to increase the number of buses if demand is high. “This is the first step of the b usiness,” he said.

Since Laos and Thailand opened a return bus service from Vientiane to Nong Khai in 2004, the number of passengers has risen annually and more buses have been added. At present there are six buses a day each to Nong Khai and Oudon Thani.

It costs 15,000 kip or 55 baht for the journey to Nong Khai and 22,000 kip or 80 baht to travel as far as Oudon Thani.

Mr Bounyou said that rising fuel prices had cut into profits, but so far ticket prices remained unchanged.

However, officials have written a proposal to the government asking for permission to increase bus fares, which it is now considering.

With the building of friendship bridges between Laos and Thailand , the transportation sector has developed considerably, especially on the bus route running from Savannakhet province in Laos to Mukdahane province in Thailand .

Mr Bounyou said Laos and Thailand were planning to introduce a return service from Vientiane to Bangkok in the years to come.

He said that the State Bus Enterprise had not yet begun a service to Vietnam and China , but passengers wanting to travel by bus to these countries could start their journey at the Southern Bus Station or at the Northern Bus Station in Vientiane.

(Latest Update Janurary 24, 2008)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ministry plans new national museum

( Champassak province) — The Ministry of Information and Culture is reviewing plans to build a new National Museum in Vientiane , according to a senior official.
The Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, Prof Dr Bosengkham Vongdara, told Vientiane Times on Monday during the Ministry of Information and Culture's nationwide 2007-2008 meeting in Champassak province that the government would consider the project's budget once the model and drawing plans were completed.
“We will start building the national museum once the government agrees on a budget, and we hope this will be soon, as the new building will be far more impressive than the existing one,” he said .
He confirmed that once the new building was ready, the old national museum site would be used for other ministerial activities.
“We need a new museum mainly because of the many new archaeological discoveries we have made during excavations around the country,” Dr Bosengkham said.
He went on to list a number of historical artefacts that were in storage because there was no room to display them in the existing museum.
“It's important for Lao people to be able to learn about the history of their country, which is why we want the best venue possible to display the many items of interest we have in the national collection,” he said.
The new museum will be built beside the Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial at Km 6, already a popular destination for visitors to Vientiane .
Dr Bosengkham said the government has also approved plans to build smaller provincial museums throughout the country.
“On top of the 5-hectare site in Vientiane , our project will extend to all the provinces, some of which already have museums, but which are in need of improvement,” he said, adding that all museums are scheduled for completion by 2020, according to the ministry's plans.
“These museums will be important places of learning for the next generation, who need to be acquainted with their country's history in order to love their country,” he said.

By Panyasith Thammavongsa (Latest Update January 23, 2008)

Laos to be recognised as peaceful country

The World Peace Committee of Indonesia has announced it will present Laos with a khong of peace, a musical instrument used to recognise peaceful countries, in March this year.
Committee president Mr Djuyoto Suntani met with the President of the Peace and Solidarity Committee of Laos, Mr Bounpone Sangsomsack, at the Lao Plaza Hotel in V ientiane yesterday to discuss preparations for the presentation ceremony.
Once the khong is presented, Laos will become the fourth country in the world and the first country in Southeast Asia to be recognised in this way by the World Peace Committee of Indonesia, according to Mr Bounpone.
During the meeting, Mr Suntani praised Laos for its enduring peace and solidarity, with no violence or discrimination between ethnic groups, a fulfilment of the Resolution of the Eighth Party Congress held in March 2006.
Mr Bounpone informed the delegation led by Mr Suntani of current socio-economic developments in Laos , explaining the government's policy of promoting family businesses to make the country a modern and industrialised nation by 2020.
He also commented on the growth of the Lao tourism industry, which has generated significant income and helped to alleviate poverty in many communities.
On the same day, Mr Suntani called on the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, at his office to discuss future cooperation between the two nations.
The delegation from the World Peace Committee of Indonesia also visited places of cultural and historical interest in Vientiane .
The Peace and Solidarity Committee of Laos was established several years ago and every year holds events to create public awareness of the importance of building a peaceful world.

By Somsack Pongkhao

Happy new year.

I want to talk to our readers who read our blog regularly. I can see that our readers are from many countries like ...United States, Thailand, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, Philippines, Egypt and other countries

In the blog title is was writen "See the places I have been throughout Laos", but the articles here are all about Champasak province. I promiss you from now you will see the articles from the other places, not only the tourist places I will write about the places that tourists can not access.

In occasion of new year 2008 I wish you all good health and success. Happy new year. myspace graphic comments
Graphics for Happy New Year Comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vat Phou needs room to display 2,000 artefacts

The exhibition hall at the World Heritage Site of Vat Phou in Champassak province is unable to display some 2,000 artefacts due to a lack of space, the Director of the Vat Phou Heritage Office, Mr Khankham Kaenboutta, said on Tuesday.

The artefacts remain in storage because there is no display space left in hall, he said.

The exhibition hall is used to display archaeological remains found within the World Heritage site.

“This year we hope to build more rooms in the hall so that we can exhibit some of the most significant historic materials that are now in storage,” Mr Khankham said.

Vat Phou has received donations from visitors for this purpose, after they learned of the shortage of space when they visited the site.

Last year more than 50,000 visitors came to Vat Phou and it is expected that the number will increase to 70,000 this year.

Currently the only direct revenue generated by the site is from the entrance fees to the temple complex and exhibition hall: 30,000 kip for foreigners and 3,000 kip for Lao people.

Fifty percent of the revenue goes to the central government and the remaining 50 percent is used for site management.

The goal of the local government is to retain 90 percent for preservation of the site and to hand over the remaining 10 percent to the central government.

The French government will provide around 1 million euros from its Fonds de Solidarite Prioritaire (Priority Solidarity Fund) from 2007-10, in support of three activities carried out under the Vat Phou development project.

The first of these is a field study to identify how best to improve the site for tourism. The second is to improve infrastructure around the heritage site to assist better visitor management, and the final stage will be the training of personnel in conservation and site management.

This month the Italian government provided US$25,000 to Vat Phou officials for maintenance of the complex.

To reach Vat Phou, most visitors travel south from Pakxe on Route 13, turning right at a small village known as Kilometre 35 or Laksamsipha, and travel another 3 kilometres to reach the banks of the Mekong .

They then take a ferry at Muang village in Pathoumphon district, which takes them to the small town of Champassak on the other side, about 12 kilometres from the temple site.

The exhibition hall, funded by the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, was built just inside the main gate of the temple complex in 2003.

By Khonesavanh Latsaphao

(Latest Update January 10, 2007)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Vientiane will be 450 years old

Preparatory celebration of 450th founding anniversary discussed

(KPL) The third meeting of Vientiane Committee for the preparatory celebration of 450th founding anniversary of Vientiane Capital took place on 10 January, Vientiane Capital to review the implementation of each sub-committees.
Held under the chairmanship of Mr Somsavat Lengsavad, Standing Deputy Prime Minister, who is also President of Vientiane Preparatory Celebration Committee where was attended by officials concerned.
For the 2008, Vientiane Capital has various projects and activities to be implemented by focussing on awareness raising on national and Vientiane patriotic ideas on the 450th founding anniversary in 2010.
The development projects that will be operated till to 2010, including the development of Mekong River bank, the improvements of 450 years road, That Luang square, That Luang Stupa, the Horthammasapha, Vientiane Administration Office, Souphanuvong road, the SEA Games stadium construction project, Sisaket temple and Nongtha.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pakse: Motorized samlo

Old styled samlo

now hardly to be seen

Modernized and motorized samlo are everywhere in Pakse