Road Transport Cooperation between Thailand and Lao PDR

     Thailand prioritizes international transport links by collaborating with the Thai – Lao PDR road links. There are several cooperating projects. The latest project is the construction of the fifth Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge (Bueng Kan – Bolikham Sai), under construction. It is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.

     In addition, planners of the sixth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge (Ubon Ratchathani – Salawan) project have studied the suitability of the economy, engineering, and environmental impacts. The survey was completed in December 2018. Currently, cooperation is going on between the two countries.

     Regarding the transport cooperation between the two countries, there are four completed Thai-Lao Friendship Bridges. For the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge at Chiang Khong – Huaysai, the Thai government and the Chinese government each paid half of the total cost. The Thai government has paid the total cost of the third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge in Nakhon Phanom – Khammueng. As for the second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge (Mukdahan-Sawannakhet), the Thai government and the Lao government paid half of the cost each by borrowing money from the Bank for International Cooperation. For the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, Nong Khai – Vientiane, the Australian government held the opening ceremony on 8 March 1994.

      There was an agreement on road transport between Thailand and Laos on 5 March 1999, and the contract stipulated the details of road transport. As a result, there has been a liberalization of the number of Thai-Laos freight operators, international bus operations, and the facilitation of transporting persons and vehicles between Thailand and Laos.    

          Regarding bus services between Thailand and Laos, there are 13 routes:

  1. Nong Khai – Vientiane Capital;
  2. Udon Thani – Vientiane Capital;
  3. Ubon Ratchathani – Pakse;
  4. Mukdahan – Savannah;
  5. Khon Kaen – Vientiane Capital;
  6. Bangkok – Vientiane Capital;
  7. Nakhon Phanom – Tha Khae;
  8. Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai – Bor Kaew – Luang  Nam Tha – Udomchai – Luang Prabang;
  9. Udon Thani – Nong Khai – Vang Vieng;
  10. Bangkok – Ubon Ratchathani – Pakse;
  11. 11. Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong – Bo Kaeo;
  12. Loei – Chaiyaburi – Luang Prabang;
  13. Nan – Sayaburi – Luang Prabang.

Data updated on October 2021 
Source: Foreign Affairs Division, Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport


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