Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kunming-Bangkok Expressway

Take a ride down the newly-completed Route 3 Highway through Lao PDR, funded by ADB, linking Kunming and Bangkok.

Kunming-Bangkok Expressway is the first international expressway from China. It starts at Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan province in southwestern China, and ends at Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

The expressway is approximately 1,900 km in length, about 730 km is in China and about 250 km is in Laos. It is jointly funded by China, Laos, Thailand and the Asian Development Bank. It stretches south from Kunming to Xiaomenyang (16 km from Jinghong) and cross the Lao border at Mohan. It traverses through jungle and highlands in southern Yunnan and Laos before entering Thailand at Chiang Khong. It continues southward, mostly as Thailand Highway 1 (named Phahonyothin Road), until it reaches Bangkok. A possible parallel alternative route, via Keng Tung in Burma, is also considered.

The route from Kunming to Chiang Rai will be Asian Highway route 3 (AH3).

As key part of Asian road network, the project is an important infrastructural facility for construction of the China-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) free trade zone and the Lancang-Mekong River subregional economic cooperation. The 4,000-km Mekong River, also called Lancang River in China, begins in the Tibet plateau and flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Experts estimate the full opening of the highway will realize cargo transport worth 400 billion U.S. dollars each year.

[Kunming-Bangkok Highway]
The Kunming-Bangkok Highway is an important trunk road in the Asian Highway Network. It is also an important passageway serving the economic co-operation among the Mekong riparian countries.

The China section: Kunming to Yuxi, Yuan jiang, Mohei,Simao, Xiaomenyang and Mohan/Boten

Laos section: Mohan/Boten - Luang Namtha - Houayxay/Chiang Khong

Thailand section: Chiang Khong - Chiang Rai -Tak Bangkok

The section of Kunming-Bangkok Highway in Yunnan starts in Kunming and ends at the Mohan Land Port between China and Laos. From there, the Highway will cut across the provinces of Luangnamtha and Bokeo and enter Chiang Kong in Thailand from Houayxay. In Thailand, the Highway will lead to the capital city of Bangkok through Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai. The Kunming-Bangkok Highway will stretch over a total length of 1,855 kilometers and it will be an expressway ( high-grade road ) according to design. It will be connected to the road network in Singapore and Malaysia. Yunnan Province has invested more than 12 billion yuan in the construction of the Highway. At present, most subsections in Yunnan have been either newly built or upgraded to meet the standard. Most part of the section in Thailand has also been completed. A joint working team led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and consisting of experts from China, Laos, and Thailand will be responsible for the construction of the section in Laos, which is 247 kilometers long. Construction work will be done by the three countries and completed by year 2006. With the aid from the Chinese government, a sub-section of the Kunming-Bangkok Highway in Laos has started construction on April 26, 2004.

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