Veunkham becomes a local border between Laos and Cambodia
Veunkham-Dong Kralor border between Laos and Cambodia in Champassak province's Khong district has updated its services and will operate as a local border crossing.
This border is located in Veunkham village, about five kilometres from Nongnokheane-Trapeang Kriel International Checkpoint between Laos-Cambodia that officially opened last week.
Head of the Nongnokheane International Border Checkpoint, Mr Sisanguan Pakphoumy, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday that previously the Veunkham was a traditional border, but it's been developed as a local border for many Lao and Cambodian people in villages along the Mekong River.
“Champassak so far has two Laos-Cambodia borders and a third is being investigated and will likely commence work once a suitable border crossing point has been found,” Mr Sisanguan said.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the third border crossing that Laos and Cambodia plan to build features an approximately 145-metre bridge across the Xe Lam Phao River in Mounlapamok district of Champassak province, to connect to northern Cambodia.
A 78-kilometre road linking Mounlapamok district to the Xe Lam Phao bridge is also planned.
Laos and Cambodia share a land and water border over a distance of 535 kilometres, of which a 465 kilometre section has been demarcated since 2000.
About 50 people a day are crossing over the Nongnokheane-Trapeang Kriel international border crossing and most of those are foreign tourists. Foreigners travel from Cambodia via the Nongnokheane-Trapeang Kriel border bound for the Vat Phou Champassak World Heritage site, Khonphapheng waterfall and Don Det Island, all in Champassak province.
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith told Khong district authorities when he visited last week that there are many tourist attractions in Asean countries, and one major tourist destination is Khong district, adding that Don Det or Somphamit waterfall is quite famous for foreign visitors.
“We ought to save the lifestyles of people living in Khong district and don't destroy our natural resources, because foreign tourists like them,” he advised.
On the other hand, accommodation facilities need to be fresh and clean, the PM added.
According to Khong district authorities, there are about 425,000 local and foreign visitors to its tourism sites every year.
This year, officials are encouraging visitors to go to Yeuan, Fan, Phasuam, Nong Luang, Champee Nang Sida, and Lakpaed waterfalls, along with Don Nong Luang waterfall, which are all beautiful spots that tourists can enjoy.
According to the Champassak provincial Informational, Culture and Tourism Department, about 600,000 tourists visit Champassak each year.
By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
(Latest Update January 19, 2017)