Currently (2016) Laos has a fast-growing economy, although landlocked the country becomes a important player in the transshipping business between China’s Yunnan province and ASEAN. A evident sign is the 114-kilometre Hongsa-Chiang Man Road to Luang Prabang province this will link Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to the red giant with the purpose to boost trade.
Already today big things are under way considering the border crossing at Huai Kon in Thailand's Nan province has trading of around 7 billion baht running through. The road was funded by the Thailand government will help to cut travel time from Huai Kon to Luang Prabang by about half from current five to six hours. For this purpose Thailand is helping with a low interest loan for about 400 million baht to finance the road's construction.
The road construction started in the beginning of 2016 and could be completed in 2018, connecting three spots, Nan in Thailand, Luang Prabang in Laos and Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. Let’s see what happen, why? Once that will work it could be a great journey. The main problem for road travel between ASEAN countries is that the government won't let foreign without a lenghty paper process. Actually the only two country where that works is between Thailand and
Thailand also made a road in South West Cambodia, Koh Kong to Phnom Penh, over a similar terrain (donated by the Thai government) which was mainly broken after 2 ears use. Also most roads in Thailand today outside a radius of about 150 km of Bangkok are rotten since they are not made to standard procedures which might be due to a lack of technical knowledge or the construction companies do a bad job to save money, this people just don’t care what happen after one year.
The current road is used by an estimated 1,500 cars per day, according to Neda. They expect that the number of visitors to Luang Prabang might increase to 1 million after the road is completed and this will boost economy, the
graphic right side is from Bangkok Post.
Actually even today there is a busy tourist business since many Chinese use this link to make holiday in north Thailand around Chiang Mai. Often coming in with mobile homes and giving the Thai a real headache. They have a totally different way of living, traffic rules and naturally not able to communicate by language.