VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Thai tour operators have visited Laos to check accessibility and travel after Laos reopens to foreign tourists.
Representatives of Thai tour operators said they want to assess the most interesting places for tourists, including Vangvieng district, Luang Prabang province and Vientiane, as well as services provided by the Laos-China railway.
They will check the availability of tourist attractions, hotels, guesthouses and restaurants, especially those close to the railway line.
Following their investigation, they will formulate travel packages which they will advertise to customers in Thailand, according to Vte9 Channel.
More than 900 people crossed the border from Laos to Thailand from May 9 to 11 at the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge between Vientiane and Nong Khai province in Thailand, while nearly 860 people entered Laos.
Most international border bridges are now fully open to travelers following a notice issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on May 7 stating that Laos’ borders would reopen from May 9.
With all travel restrictions lifted under the advisory, foreign nationals as well as stateless persons can now freely enter and exit Laos.
To facilitate travel, Lao Airlines plans to increase flights from two to three per week between Vientiane and Bangkok, starting May 22. The airline has been operating two weekly flights to Bangkok since the start of this year.
Now that the borders of Laos have reopened, citizens of countries that have signed a bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreement with Laos can enter without applying for a visa.
Citizens of countries that have not signed visa waiver agreements with Laos can apply for a visa at Lao embassies or consulates in foreign countries. Visitors can also apply for a visa online or upon arrival at border crossings where such a service is available.
Lao and foreign nationals and stateless persons aged 12 and over who have not been fully vaccinated are required to take an ATK Covid-19 test within 48 hours of leaving for Laos. However, they are no longer required to take a Covid test on arrival.
People who have a certificate indicating full vaccination against Covid can enter Laos without the need to take a Covid test in their country of departure or upon arrival in Laos. Visitors who contract Covid-19 while in Laos are responsible for all expenses incurred should treatment be required.
Treatment can be obtained in public and private hospitals, while self-isolation and self-care are another option.