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Top spot to enjoy sunset at That Luang Lake

Taking in Beung That Luang (That Luang Marsh), the capital’s That Luang Lake Specific Economic Zone boasts a lake with beautiful views that attracts hundreds of people each day, particularly in the evenings for walking, cycling and watching the sunset over the water.
Many people wonder what further aspects this area will see develop in the future.
What is clear is that for now it’s like a new and relaxing place proving a lovely park to go to after a hard working day.
When combined with the new walking street at That Luang Marsh, the lake is an increasingly popular location for the city’s young and young-at- heart alike.

People at the edge of the lake enjoy the sunset.

Down the walking street, you will come to the lakeshore located about a kilometre further on your right hand side.
Most people head there around 4pm and spend their time meandering until dusk and then continue shopping at the walking street market on the way home.
Several times already this writer has been cycling around there but has never failed to take pictures of the view because it’s very beautiful.
This lovely environment invites us contemplate, yet is also a perfect place for a chat with friends.
Amazingly it seems many people, even in those in the capital, still don’t know about the upgraded Lakeside yet.
When I posted images on my social media account recently many friends asked me where this beautiful place is.
However, recently many more locals and visitors have been going there, especially families with young children.
They like to go there such for walking, cycling or cruising around but most of them stop at the small bridge and at the edge of the lake for a chat and enjoy the view.
Of course, the zone remains a key development site and more changes are expected to grace the lake environs in the near future.
Vientiane is fast developing and if we look back around 15 years ago, when this area just had one name “Beung That Luang”.
 It was the biggest rice filed in Vientiane and there were many of large ponds with full of the green leaf and pink flower of lotus.
Around 60 year-old Mr Phuang Thammavong in Phonpapao village said that he used to plant rice there with his family since he was young boy and he could plant well in the dry season but in the wet season it flooded.
“This area is full of my childhood memories because I always came here after school, catching fish, especially during the harvest season because rice fields had low water and there were a lot of fish. Sometimes I also enjoyed taking lotus fruit for eating and playing friends”, Mr Phuang said.
“But recently these things are completely changed because rice fields and large ponds with lotus are gone. Sometimes I don’t know where I am, and soon it will be full of higher buildings because it’s an economic zone”, he said wistfully.
Yet with the future coming fast, its good to see some things are constant as I see some youths sitting together at the edge of the lake with a guitar singing songs.
Of course many people like something different but for me to sit at riverbank, my eyes seeing water weaving with the sunset and my ears listening to some people playing guitar and singing is my idea of peace and paradise.
Others come seeking thrills. To respond to this need, a Chinese developer plans to invest US$80 million to construct a water theme park at the That Luang Marsh Specific Economic Zone to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
When finished, the SEZ will include a large residential area, public parks, green spaces and lake, hospitals, education centre, restaurants, a sports complex and a commercial centre.
There will also be five-star hotels, shopping centres and entertainment venues.
The That Luang Marsh SEZ began operating in 2012, on an area of 365 hectares.
The government intended to promote the development of this project as a model for SEZ development in Laos, aiming to attract more foreign investment.
The developer’s aim is to turn That Luang Marsh into a liveable town with an environmentally friendly atmosphere.
It is one of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ), designated by the Ministry of Planning and Investment since 2003, for economic settlements and development throughout the country.
These include, for example, the Golden Triangle SEZ in Bokeo (2007), Dongphosy SEZ and Thakek SEZ (2012).


By Patithin Phetmeuangphuan
(Latest Update June 10, 2017)

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