China - Laos Railway
Kunming - Vientiane Train
|Map of China - Laos Railway|
Designed Speed: 99/124 mph (160/200 km/h)
Running Length: 635 miles (1,022 km)
Expected Duration: about 10 hours
Stations: It is planned that altogether 33 stations will be built along Kunming-Vientiane High Speed Railway, including Kunming South, Kunyang, Jinning East, Huacheng, Baofeng, Yuxi, Yuxi South, Puer, Mohan, Luang Namtha, Udomsay, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane, where passengers can get on and off. When finished, train will be the top choice to travel around Laos as well as to travel between Laos and China.
Laos - China Railway Sections
Mohan (Boten)- Vientiane: The construction of this section began on 2nd December, 2015 and it is scheduled for completion by 2022. The designed speed is 99 mph and the length is 265 miles (427 km). Around 162 bridges and 72 tunnels will be built along the way, accounting for about 60% of the overall length, making it a really difficult project. Among the bridges, two super ones will run over Mekong River, measuring 1334 yards (1,220m) and 1570 yards (1,436 m) respectively. It is estimated that the project will cost about CNY 400 billion, and is jointly funded by Chinese and Laotian governments in the ratio 70% to 30%.
Why build the China - Laos High Speed Railway
How to travel between the two countries currently
The fastest way to travel between the two countries is by air. There are direct flights between Vientiane and Kunming and Guangzhou; air travel takes 1.5 hour and 2.5 hours respectively; and the ticket price for economy class is around CNY 1,300 and CNY 1,600 respectively.
Taking international coaches to travel between the two countries is popular among many budget travelers. You can take a coach at Kunming South Bus Station to Vientiane or Luang Prabang. The Kunming-Vientiane coach departs at 18:00 and takes 22 hours to cover a distance of 883 miles (1,421 km); ticket price is around CNY 600. The Kunming-Luang Prabang coach leaves at 18:30 and takes 17 hours for 684 miles (1,100 km); ticket fare is about CNY 400. The ticket price here is for reference only. The actual ticket price is subject to the ticket office.
Tips for taking coaches:
No toilets are available on coaches, so you'd better not drink too much water! The coach will stop along the way for passengers to rest, have meals and use the washrooms.
Only sleepers are provided onboard and only a few sleepers are single ones; the others are double ones. So it's very possible you will share a double sleeper with a stranger. Be prepared!
The above coach duration excludes time for customs formalities which may take some time.
Other International Trains between China and nearby Countries
International railways under construction/planning from China to: