Laos opens ‘Chinatown’ to lure tourists

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Chinatown BokeoLaos has opened a Chinatown market in Bokeo province’s Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, an area that hosts a casino catering mainly to Chinese clientele. The move aims at attracting more tourism and trade to the region.

The market is funded by a group of Chinese firms, among them Hong Kong-registered King Romans Group, and, if successful, could be followed by a “Lao ethnic and cultural center”, tourism ministry officials said.

The Lao government has granted to King Romans 10,000 hectares, 3,000 hectares of which are dedicated to the Special Economic Zone, for 99 years.

The tax-exempt zone was launched in 2009 and now includes an international border checkpoint and river port, the King Romans Casino, hotels, and the Chinatown market with 70 restaurants and shops. The company reportedly invested $491 million in the first phase  and plans to invest a total of $2.25 billion by 2020 in facilities that include a golf course, massage and karaoke parlors, as well as medical clinics.

The company also constructed a 30-kilometer road to connect the zone with Bokeo’s capital of Huay Xai. King Romans also donated “substantial amounts” to schools in both Myanmar and Laos. However, the existing hotel, restaurants, shops and currency used in the zone are all Chinese, and the casino draws crowds mostly from China and Thailand, where gambling is officially illegal.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Laos has opened a Chinatown market in Bokeo province’s Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, an area that hosts a casino catering mainly to Chinese clientele. The move aims at attracting more tourism and trade to the region.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Chinatown BokeoLaos has opened a Chinatown market in Bokeo province’s Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone, an area that hosts a casino catering mainly to Chinese clientele. The move aims at attracting more tourism and trade to the region.

The market is funded by a group of Chinese firms, among them Hong Kong-registered King Romans Group, and, if successful, could be followed by a “Lao ethnic and cultural center”, tourism ministry officials said.

The Lao government has granted to King Romans 10,000 hectares, 3,000 hectares of which are dedicated to the Special Economic Zone, for 99 years.

The tax-exempt zone was launched in 2009 and now includes an international border checkpoint and river port, the King Romans Casino, hotels, and the Chinatown market with 70 restaurants and shops. The company reportedly invested $491 million in the first phase  and plans to invest a total of $2.25 billion by 2020 in facilities that include a golf course, massage and karaoke parlors, as well as medical clinics.

The company also constructed a 30-kilometer road to connect the zone with Bokeo’s capital of Huay Xai. King Romans also donated “substantial amounts” to schools in both Myanmar and Laos. However, the existing hotel, restaurants, shops and currency used in the zone are all Chinese, and the casino draws crowds mostly from China and Thailand, where gambling is officially illegal.

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