Vang Vieng’s Tha Heua Market faces total abandonment after the expressway has caused motorists to bypass it when traveling to the resort town.
According to a report by Vientiane Times, Tha Heua Market, popular with motorists entering Vang Vieng, is rapidly losing customers, with many vendors shutting down their stalls completely.
The Tha Heua Market, located in Tha Heua Village, Vang Vieng District, in Vientiane Province, is situated 26 kilometers from Vang Vieng town. Until recently the market has been famous for its fish products, favored by travelers on the way to Vang Vieng.
A variety of fish species and types (fresh and dried) are displayed along the road. Most of the fish sold at the market are indigenous to Laos, caught in the Ang Nam Ngum reservoir, according to Fish Consulting Group.
While the Covid-19 pandemic had already caused less travel to the area, the poor state of the state road and the opening of the new Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway may have sealed the fate of this vibrant market.
One vendor, who had sold fish products consistently since 2005, told reporters that she now sees no customers at all on some days.
“The terrible condition of the road is a big issue for people who might have traveled via this road, and of course the Vientiane to Vang Vieng Expressway allows people to bypass this area completely now,” she said.