Luang Prabang, the UNESCO Heritage City of northern Laos, has seen a surge of interest from Thai tourists in recent weeks amid celebrity trips and curiosity about the Laos-China Railway.
The picturesque town, noted for its French colonial era architecture and serene mountain vistas, had remained relatively quiet until Laos reopened its borders in May this year. Now, accessible by air and rail, Luang Prabang is being inundated with tourists from Thailand.
Following in the footsteps of trailblazing Thai celebs, tourists from the neighboring Kingdom have been trying out trips on the brand new Laos-China Railway and heading to the northern city in droves.
Thai celebrities Chiranan Manochaem and Than Thanokkorn visit That Luang Stupa in Vientiane Capital.
Mr. Vongdavon Vongxayalath, Head of Luang Prabang Provincial Tourism Promotion Department, told local media that almost 100,000 people have visited Luang Prabang in the first six months of the year.
This began with mostly domestic tourists, but now includes visitors from Thailand, South Korea, and other countries. More recently, up to 90 percent of rooms have been booked out by individual visitors and tour operators.
Mr. Somsak Phouthavong, Manager of Mina Travel, told the Laotian Times that “We have received a lot of bookings for group tours from Thailand this month.”
He says that while most of these have booked their accommodation in advance, accommodation is filling up quickly.
And many of these group tours start their activities with a trip to Luang Prabang via the high-speed Laos-China Railway, a key link in the global chain of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.