The Government of Laos has given the green light for a planned Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang expressway, reducing travel time between the two tourist towns.
Vientiane Times reports that the newly approved expressway, part of a larger scheme to link Vientiane with China by road, would see a 136.9km section from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang.
The joint venture company that will develop the section of road has reported the findings of its feasibility study to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and is awaiting approval.
The proposed expressway would significantly reduce travel time between the two tourism-focused towns of Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. On the current road system, the trip takes approximately four to five hours, depending on road conditions. When the expressway opens, the travel time would be reduced to just 90 minutes.
The expressway will follow on from the existing Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway, which is 90 percent complete and expected to open by National Day this year (2 December).
Meanwhile, Laos has begun plans to build another expressway linking Luang Prabang with Oudomxay. The proposed expressway would link Luang Prabang District, Luang Prabang Province with Xay District, Oudomxay Province, stretching some 113.9 km.
The final section of the expressway would link Xay District, Oudomxay with Boten, Luang Namtha, culminating at the border between Laos and China. Once fully complete, the full expressway linking Vientiane to Boten would stretch some 460 kilometers with a one-way trip taking around five hours.
The Vientiane to Boten expressway would connect to ASEAN Highway AH12 and is expected to be part of the east Kunming-Bangkok highway, which is currently under development.