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March 24, 2012

Lao - Thai Friendship Bridge


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This is the first Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge crossing over the Mekong River, connecting Nong Khai in Thailand with Vientiane in Laos. The bridge is around 20km from the downtown of Vientiane. Opened on April 8, 1994, it was the first bridge across the lower Mekong, and the second on the full course of the great Mekong.

 


This bridge is perhaps the biggest attraction to Nong Khai, as it has opened Laos up to foreigners and Thais alike. This impressive structure was completed in 1994, and was the result of a joint Thai-Lao-Australian effort. With just one lane in each direction, this bridge spans over 1170 m, and cost a total of approximately US $30,000,000. Traffic on the bridge drives on the left, as in Thailand, while traffic in Laos drives on the right. The changeover at the Lao end, just before the border post, is controlled by traffic lights.

This is the first bridge to span the Mekong River between Thailand and Laos, and has had significant political consequences. Plans are currently underway to add a rail link across the bridge and into Vientiane.
 

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