Director of the Xishuangbanna Prefectural Tourism Bureau Li Qingyou said that the Tianda Shipping Company, a subsidiary company of the Xishuangbanna Golden Peacock Group, last Saturday opened a regular passenger line from Jinghong port in Yunnan to Chiang Saen port in Thailand.
Mekong River, extending 4,880 kilometers in total, is one of the largest rivers in Asia flowing through the six countries of China, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. According to Li, due to its beautiful natural scenery, international tourism experts regard Mekong River as a golden tourist route where people can not only enjoy the ecological environment or ethnic features along the river, but also carry out adventures, sightseeing or leisure activities, or conduct scientific research.
After the passenger line is launched, three Chinese high-speed boats will from now on carry passengers to travel along the river. With a capacity of 50 people, the boat will start the journey from Jinghong port and cruise the Lancangjiang-Mekong River channel. On the way, passengers will be able to enjoy scenes of primitive forests on both sides of the river. Its destination is Chiang Saen port in Thailand. The whole journey will take 8 hours.
In September and October, the boat will take passengers every Tuesday and Saturday at Jinghong port and Chiang Saen port. From November on, it will start a journey every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at two ports. On the way, the boat will take passengers at six ports designated in the agreement signed by China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.
At present, Li said, local tourism companies have built seven large cruisers for the route and each cruiser can take as many as 500 passengers. Next year, the Chinese part of the expressway built between Kunming and Bangkok will be put into service. By then, tourists can travel to China, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand by water, by land, or by air.
(Chinanews.cn September 11, 2006)