Laos banks on new high-speed railway to draw tourists and investment

The Boten-Mohan tunnel is painted with the Chinese and Laotian flags.
The Boten-Mohan tunnel is painted with the Chinese and Laotian flags.PHOTO: XINHUA

NONG KHAI, THAILAND - The men arrived in dark jackets, and the women in fine woven silk skirts. They filed into the gleaming railway station under a red sign that said "Vientiane" in Lao and Chinese.

Then they set off. Laotian lawmakers took a test ride on their country's first railway network to the karst-ringed tourist town of Vang Vieng. What would have been a four-hour road trip from the capital took under one hour on Nov 17 on the Lane Xang, a bullet train named after an ancient Laotian kingdom.

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