The Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway officially opened on Sunday, with operators offering toll-free travel between 21 to 23 December.
The official opening ceremony, held at the entry gate in Naxaythong district of Vientiane Capital, was attended by President Bounnhang Vorachit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr. Sonexay Siphandone, as well as the Chinese Ambassador to Laos, Mr. Jiang Zaidong, alongside ministers, officials, and invited guests.
The Vientiane to Vang Vieng expressway, linking the nation’s capital with the resort town of Vang Vieng, stretches some 109 kilometers, cutting travel time from four hours to just one hour.
Motorists are able to travel at speeds of 80 to 100 kilometers per hour when using the expressway.
The toll of the expressway is expected to be charged at approximately LAK 600 per kilometer for vehicles with less than seven seats, LAK 1,000 per kilometer for 8 to 19 seat vehicle, and LAK 1,400 per kilometer for vehicles with 20-39 seats. Vehicles with over 40 seats will be charged a toll of LAK 2,000 per kilometer, according to report in Vientiane Mai.
The 23-metre wide road has four lanes and features 45 bridges and a tunnel, with eight toll gates in Vientiane, Naxone, Banbua, Sakar, Phonhong, Hinheup, Ang Namngum and Vangvieng.
The expressway was originally scheduled to open in time for Lao National Day on 2 December, however, final works caused some delay. To make up for this, operators are now offering toll-free travel between 21 to 23 December.
Construction of the expressway began at the end of 2018.
Chinese investors will operate the expressway under a 50-year concession agreement, valued at USD1.2 billion, with the Lao government holding a five percent stake.