New Tourist Park in Laos
The National Ethnic Culture Park is Vientiane’s latest tourist attraction set to open next April in an effort to add variety to the country’s tourism content.
According to local media reports, phase one of the project is now more than 80% complete. Work on the venture began in 2012 with the whole project costing US$30 million, financed by the IP Group.
The group president, Ad Phannivong, was quoted as saying: “We decided to develop 10 hectares of the existing parkland into a new tourism complex to attract more visitors from ASEAN.”
He claimed the park was a neglected, undeveloped area for many years before it was taken over by the company.
“The park is close to Vientiane main business and tourist district and the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge and should help to improve the local economy,” he said.
“The company plans to convert the park into a popular attraction for both domestic and international tourists.”
Under the first phase, it will open a restaurant, coffee shop, swimming pool and other family orientated amenities. The complex will be able to cater up to 1,000 people.
Beyond phase one the options are wide open with the company studying various suggestions, but like so many ASEAN cities, Vientiane lacks family entertainment and leisure options for children. They are expected to enjoy temple and heritage visits.
One option is a 200 bed hotel, duty-free shop, boating lake and a cultural zone where tourists can take a break and view models of traditional houses so they can learn about the dwellings used by Laos’ diverse ethnic groups.
The IP Group plans to build models of the That Luang Stupa and stone jars that resemble the mysterious vessels found at the Plain of Jars in Xieng Khuang province.
They will also create models of the XiengThongTemple in the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, and Vat Phou, the ruined temple in Champassak province, which has also been declared a World Heritage Site.
The concept of building models of well-known tourist attractions has been done to death in neighbouring countries particularly in Thailand that has its Mini-Siam and Ancient City that are showing their age and lack appeal for today’s tech savvy young travellers.
The National Ethnic Culture Park is located at km 18 on Thadeua Road in Dongphosy village, Hadxaifong district, Vientiane.
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