Laos: Xekong on track to have first international border crossing with Vietnam

The Prime Minister’s Office plans to upgrade the Daktaok local border crossing in Dakcheung district, Xekong province, to an international level crossing on the Vietnamese border.
Lao and Vietnamese officials are currently discussing the date when this change will take place. If the status is elevated as planned, Daktaok will become Xekong’s first international border crossing, according to the province’s Information, Culture and Tourism Department.
The crossing would create a more accessible link with Vietnam and Thailand and would enable more Vietnamese visitors to enter Laos, an official from the department, Mr Bounkhong Sidonekhong, told Vientiane Times on Friday.

Opening up this crossing will also make it easier for Lao nationals to enter Vietnam. This border crossing is close to some popular tourist attractions in Vietnam, and is especially convenient for people wanting to get the sea, he added.
Opening up the border will also facilitate the transport of goods between Xekong, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Elsewhere, the Pangmone local border crossing in Khop district, Xayaboury province, was recently approved for upgrade to an international border.
This crossing enables travel between Laos and Thailand, and onwards to other nearby countries. If the crossing is upgraded to international status, it will be the fourth such crossing in Xayaboury province.
It is expected that the Pangmone border crossing will come into service as an international crossing point on February 1. If all goes to plan, it should enable more people to visit Xayaboury than in the past, according to the province’s deputy governor, Mr Phengvilan Khamphanpheng.
In the first nine months of 2019, more than 3.4 million people vacationed in Laos, up 11 percent on 2018.
This figure included more than 1.5 million visitors from Thailand, an increase of 6 percent, while more than 700,000 Vietnamese visited Laos, up by 11 percent, according to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.