The road helps reduce travel time from Thailand’s Nan province to Luang Prabang from nine to five hours.(Photo: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) - A new 144km road from the Thai border to the Lao province of Luang Prabang has opened to traffic, reducing travel time from Thailand’s Nan province to Luang Prabang from nine to five hours.

Perames Vudthitornetiraks, president of the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency of Thailand, said the new road runs from Hongsa district in northwestern Laos to Luang Prabang, extending the road network from the Huai Kon border checkpoint in Nan province to Luang Prabang.

The two-lane road shortens the time for  the trip from Nan to Luang Prabang from nine to five hours. It is expected to draw 10-20 percent more visitors to the two Thai and Lao provinces, especially from China, Vietnam and Europe, he said.

Construction cost 1.98 billion baht (64.2 million USD). Thailand contributed 395.4 million baht and provided a soft loan of 1.58 billion baht, accounting for 80 percent of the cost.

Pheng Douangngeun, director-general of the Lao Department of Roads, said that the road helps transport become more convenient and gives access to natural tourist attractions along the route.-VNA