China-Laos Railway bustling with passengers amid holiday travel rush

KUNMING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- On Saturday, the first day of the five-day May Day holiday, the passenger inspection hall of the Mohan railway port in the southwestern Yunnan Province was crowded with people, pushing suitcases of different sizes and lining up for entry and exit procedures.

A passenger train bound for the Lao capital Vientiane awaits departure from Kunming South Railway Station in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 13, 2023. (Photo: Xinhua)

"Compared with the bus trip before, it's more convenient and time efficient to take the train. Many people in our country want to travel to China by the China-Laos Railway now," Laotian tourist Xongchingsy Sengchanh said. "I want to visit Beijing and Shanghai."

"Now you can take a train directly from Kunming to Vientiane, which is much more convenient than before," said Wu Sike, a student from Guangxi Minzu University in China.

He took a train from the city of Nanning in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to Kunming, capital of Yunnan, and then transferred to the China-Laos Railway, which would take him directly to Vientiane.

On Saturday, 514 people passed the Mohan railway port.

Since the China-Laos Railway started cross-border passenger services on April 13, the number of inbound and outbound passengers at the Mohan railway port has gradually increased. In the first week of the operation, the average daily number of inbound and outbound passengers was about 370, and the current average daily number is about 500. The checkpoint has so far seen 34 inbound and outbound trains with 6,960 passengers.

"Most of the foreigners who enter China on the international passenger trains of the China-Laos Railway are Laotian and Thai nationals who come to China for travel or study," said Li Bing with the Mohan entry-exit border checkpoint.

In order to ensure speedy customs clearance for passengers during the holiday, the Mohan border checkpoint issued a work plan in advance to ensure safe, smooth and orderly operation of the port.

The China-Laos Railway, a landmark project showcasing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, began operations in December 2021.