85 Percent of Tourists Traveled to Luang Prabang by Train This Year

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Main Street in Luang Prabang, Laos | Photo credit: EXO Travel

The majority of tourists travel to Luang Prabang using the Laos-China Railway as opposed to other means of transport, according to a new report.

According to the Deputy Head of Information, Culture and Tourism Department, Mr. Chansamone Thipphavanh, Luang Prabang saw 335,794 tourists visiting the province on the Laos-China Railway train until October. A whopping 85.27 percent of people chose the rail as a favorable mode of transport as opposed to taking a flight or traveling by road.

Mr. Chansamone also said that over 253,000 domestic tourists and 140,000 international tourists visited the UNESCO World Heritage town by train; and the rest commuted by boat, bus, or plane. Tourism in Luang Prabang generated a revenue of USD 138 Million until last month.

With Lao Airlines also adding more flights to Luang Prabang in its Winter Schedule and the Hmong New Year Celebration around the corner, the government expects to draw more than 100,00 tourists in the last two months of the year, leading to an income of USD 200 million.

Among Luang Prabang’s 228 official tourist sites, 111 are natural sites and 78 are cultural sites. Only 158 total tourist spots are open to the public at the moment.

Both Luang Prabang and Laos-China Railway have been getting a lot of international acclaim recently with National Geographic magazine picking Laos as one of the best places for slow travel in 2023 and saying, “The train’s promise? To expand tourism among the Lao themselves, who can now more easily explore their country’s multifaceted heritage, including the old imperial capital, Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site.”