A new road connecting the Thai border at Nan Province with Luang Prabang Province in Laos has officially opened, cutting the travel time for visitors from nine to around five hours.
The new road extends from Hongsa District to Luang Prabang, before reaching the border crossing with Nan Province in Thailand.
The main purpose of the new road is to connect local communities in and around Hongsa district with Luang Prabang province to generate trade, but it is also expected to boost travel between these two countries as well.
For the time-starved traveller intending to visit North Thailand and Laos, the best option would be to fly into Chiang Rai and transfer by bus to Chiang Kong to join the downstream river cruise on the Mekong River from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. However, the road from Luang Prabang to Nan via Don Mai and Hongsa has considerable potential for travellers wishing to return to North Thailand and continue their holiday in Nan, with the possibly of extending to Chiang Mai.