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New road to link China & Thailand via Nan & Luang Prabang

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New road to cut travel time & build strong link between southern China & Asean states of Thailand, Laos & Vietnam.

TRANSPORTATION & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

New road to link China & Thailand via Nan & Luang Prabang 

20/06/2016
Wichit Chantanusornsiri

A new road will soon cut the travel time and build an even stronger link between southern China and the Asean states of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. 

Laos is fast becoming an important land transport link for Asean regional connectivity with southern China's Yunnan province.

Chiang Rai, up to now, has been the jumping off point from Thailand to China. 

With the new road being built, the smaller city of Nan in northern Thailand will also become a jumping off point for China. 

Currently, there are many different ways to get to China overland and by river from Thailand.

One can enter Laos via the Friendship Bridge in Chiang Khong.

One can drive from Mae Sai through Keng Tung (Chiang Tung) to Meng La (Muang La).

One can travel along the Mekong River from Chiang Saen up to Chiang Rung in the Tai Lue Sipsongpanna region of Yunnan, China (or Jinghong, Xishuangbanna in Chinese).

Construction underway on the road that will connect Nan to Luang Prabang to Yunnan, China Wichit Chantanusornsiri

FROM NAN TO LUANG PRABANG IN LAOS IN LESS THAN THREE HOURS

The 114-kilometre Hongsa-Chiang Man Road, will be a shortcut from Thailand and China to Luang Prabang in Laos.

The road will help shorten the travel time from the Huai Kon border checkpoint in Nan to Luang Prabang by half from the current five to six hours to less than three.

Luang Prabang is in the middle of the country of Laos, rather than on a border like the capital Vientiane, so it is more difficult for people outside Laos to travel to Luang Prabang (although Luang Prabang is on the Mekong River which makes it a fun place to travel to by river boat from Chiang Khong, for instance).

An estimated 1,500 cars currently use the road each day.

BOOST TO TRADE & TOURISM

For the first time, the new road will connect three major tourist spots -- Nan, Luang Prabang and Vietnam's Dien Bien Phu.

The road will also boost trade among the countries Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China.

The border crossing point into Laos from Thailand at Nan province at Huai Kon, currently has a trade value of around 7 billion baht per year.

FINANCE & CONSTRUCTION

The road began construction five months ago and is due to be completed in 2018.

The road is being funded by the Thai government with the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) extending a 1.58 billion baht loan with a low interest rate of 1.5% over a 30-year term. Another 390 million baht is also being offered to finance the road's construction.

Panorama of Luang Prabang, north Laos, seen from Phu Si hill. This view features the Nam Khan river on the left, and the Luang Prabang airport on the very far left. (Source: Wikipedia)

TOURISM 43% OF LUANG PRABANG'S GDP

Tourist arrivals to Luang Prabang are forecast to reach 700,000 by 2020 from 500,000 at present.

Tourism currently accounts for 43% of Luang Prabang province's GDP.

It has an annual per capita income of US$1,532.

There are 76 hotels (including two four-star and five three-star hotels), 317 guesthouses, 286 food shops and restaurants, and 76 tour agencies in the province.

It also has 108 natural attractions, 86 cultural tourism spots and another 34 historic destinations.

The current 6,000-7,000 rooms are sufficient to serve tourists and another four to five hotels are under construction.

Panorama of Mekong River - Luang Prabang Laos (Source: Wikipedia)

TOURISTS COULD QUICKLY DOUBLE

The number of tourists who visit Luang Prabang could double to 1 million after the road is completed and this should be a boon to the local economy.

It may be a challenge to preserve the unique flavour of Luang Prabang, a Unesco world heritage site, from the fast-changing environment.

The government plans to push the local community to develop souvenir production and plant organic vegetables to serve the expected increase in tourists.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1014877/laos-banks-on-road-link-with-china

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Vocabulary:

accounts for : to be a particular amount or part of something -

annual : happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

arrival : when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา

at present (adv): now...., currently .... - ในปัจจุบัน

attraction (noun): an interesting or enjoyable place to go or thing to do - สิ่งที่ดึงดูดความสนใจ

boost : to increase; to strengthen - เพิ่ม; ทำให้มีกำลังมากขึ้น

border : the official line separating two areas, regions or countries - เขตแดน อาณาเขต

capital : the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง

challenge : something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve - สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย

checkpoint : a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries - ด่านตรวจ

community : a group of people who share the same job, interests, religion, etc - สังคม

community : the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน

complete (verb): to finish something; to bring some project to an end after having done everything successfully - ทำเสร็จ, ทำให้สมบูรณ์

connect : to join together two or more things - เชื่อมต่อ

connectivity (noun): how well connected things are, how easily you can get from one place to another - ภาวะเชื่อมต่อ, สภาพเชื่อมโยง

construction : the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง

crossing : going from one place to another "across" something like a border road or official line -

cultural (adj.): related to the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม

current : of the present time - ปัจจุบัน

currently : at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน

double : to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many - เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า

due to : scheduled to - มีกำหนด

environment : a place, including all the physical conditions that affect it - สภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม

estimated : thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ

expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์

flavour : a particular quality or atmosphere - ใจความ, จุดสำคัญ, รสชาติ

for instance : for example - ตัวอย่างเช่น

forecast : a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now - การพยากรณ์, การคาดการณ์

GDP : gross domestic product, the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year, except for income received from money invested in other countries ผลิตภัณฑ์มวลรวมภายในประเทศ -

heritage : the art, buildings, traditions, and beliefs that a society considers important to its history and culture - มรดก ประเพณีที่ตกทอด

historic : old and of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์

income : money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

jumping off point : the place that you leave to travel to another place -

major : very large or important - สำคัญมาก

natural : existing in nature; not made or caused by humans - เป็นธรรมชาติ, ตามธรรมชาติ

organic (adjective): produced or practised without using artificial chemicals - (เกษตรกรรม)เชิงชีวภาพ

overland : traveling on land and not water or by air -

per capita : per person, for each person - ต่อคน, รายหัว, ต่อหัว

preserve : to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน

province : one of many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด

region : a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ

regional : of or relating to a region - เกี่ยวกับภูมิภาค

shortcut : a quicker or shorter way of getting to a place - ทางลัด

site : a place where something is located - สถานที่

souvenir : something that you buy during a holiday or at a special event to remind you later of being there - ของที่ระลึก

spot : the particular place where someone or something is - ที่, สถานที่

state : country - ประเทศ

sufficient : enough - เพียงพอ

trade : the amount of goods or services that a business buys and sells - การค้าขาย

transport : moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง

under construction : being built - กำลังสร้าง

Unesco : United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -

unique : very special, unusual or good - ที่มีลักษณะพิเศษ  เป็นเอกลักษณ์

value : how much something is worth in money or other goods for which it can be exchanged - มูลค่า

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