Welcome to Boten

            Boten is 60km from Luang Namtha; the Chinese border town; this is an overland border crossing to China nearby Jing Hong and Kunming in Yunnan province and also nearby Sichuan province. Only Mohan/Boten (Mengla in Yunnan province/Luang Namtha province) border crossing point is an international crossing where travelers can get Lao visa on arrival and thus most trade crosses here.


            Mountains and rivers geographically bind Yunnan and Boten. The Boten port, located in the southeast of Yunnan Province is only 2 kilometres from Yunnan in China. In 1993, these two border towns were opened up as the first port between the countries where foreigners from third countries were permitted to cross.

            At the Lao-Chinese border town of Boten, Laos signed a 30-year lease on 1640 hectare of land to a Chinese company. Under the special economic zone scheme, the Chinese investors started building the Golden City, a Chinese-run enclave as a futuristic hub for trade and tourism.

Source: http://www.laos-guide-999.com/from-China-by-road.html

Source: http://luangnamthaguide.com/

Source: http://orehuiying.photoshelter.com/gallery/The-Golden-City-of-Boten/G0000g95m9lROqyE/


Why invest in Boten

Market Access: Boten is the access point to ASEAN market with more than 500 million inhabitants including southern part of neighboring China and connects Thailand through the North-South Economic Corridor with special economic zone acting as a trade and service center. Laos PDR has unilateral Trade agreements with 39 countries including countries in EU, Japan, Australia, India, China and South Korea and bilateral investment treaties with more than 25 countries from Europe to Asia.

Special Economic Zones: Government strongly encourages investors to develop Special economic zone, Export processing zone and Industrial Park in Boten Dan Kham Economic zone.

Import Duties and Taxes Exemptions: Import and export duties and taxes exemption on raw materials and capital equipment for production are some of the intensives. Tax holidays offered up to 10 years. Additional tax holidays, reduced tax rates for large projects with special concession are available upon negotiation.

Investment promotion Zoning

Incentive on Cooperated Profit Tax

Source: http://www.laocci.com/


Investing in Boten

Boten is located on the strategic position which presents a range of new opportunities and challenges. The most important trade route for the northern side of Lao is the North-South Economic corridor (NSEC), which connects China to Laos and Thailand through Bokeo and Luang namtha provinces.


Agricultural and Forestry

            Boten forest area has tropical hardwoods including teak and rosewood. It offers plenty of productive land as the government is now promoting the contract farming instead of granting concession over large area of land for agriculture and tree plantation.


Conservation Agriculture (CA) had become a significant component of agricultural landscapes in Laos. There were spatial variations in the number of farms practicing Conservation Agriculture (CA) and in the extent of Conservation Agriculture (CA) compared to other crop management practices. Boten district has the highest adoption rates with up to 88% in the village of Thanang and 100% in Nongphakbong.



Adoption of CA (% of households, 20052008)




Source: Conservation agriculture in Laos: Diffusion and determinants for adoption of direct seeding mulch-based cropping systems in smallholder agriculture, November 2011, Research Paper, Laos PDR.


Tourism Business is now opened to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with Foreign Equity of up to 70%. Several natural tourist sites are welcome.


Source: http://www.laocci.com/

National Biodiversity Conservation Area


One of the most popular National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA) parks, Nam Ha features a number of activities, from trekking to river rafting, camps to kayaking.  It is also popular for mountain bike tours, village home stays, and bird watching.

Within the region, mammals include the clouded leopard, leopard, and tiger.  It is situated close to the China/Lao border.


Phu den Din National Biodiversity Conservation


Situated along the Vietnamese boarder, this National Biodiversity Conservation Area boasts mountains up to an elevation of 1934m.  It is more than 1300 square kilometres in size, and is home to many endangered wildlife.  It is home to the Asiatic black bear, the bantang, clouded leopard, elephant, guar, tiger, and more.

                        Source: http://www.ecotourismlaos.com/namha.htm

Industry : Manufacturing and Processing

Boten is ready to be a manufacturing base as Logistic advantages from NSEC (linked to Mekong River including southern part of neighboring China) labor cost and Special Economic Zone (Located along NSEC)

            Source: http://www.laocci.com/

The Lao-China Railway Project

            The Lao-China Railway Project is the backbone of transportation in Laos; China considers the railway through Laos as a critical part of the Asean-China railway, which will help boost trade between China and Asean after free trade agreements are set up with Asean member countries. The Laos-China railway will connect to the Thai high-speed railway before heading to Malaysia and Singapore. The railway would make transportation faster, cheaper and more reliable, helping to boost trade, investment and tourism in Laos. It will take only a few hours to get from Vientiane to Luang Prabang once the high speed railway is in place.


The project has also been attracted worldwide. This is a mega construction project in the world. Lao railway development plan is designed by China Railway Company, a company with its intention to support the Laos-China Railway Project and invested in various fields of labor force, materials and finance, which was a considerable amount of investment.


Railway Development Plan


Source: Ministry of Public Works and Transport, 2011.

Source: Weekly Political and Economic News of the Lao PDR, Embassy of the Republic of Korea

Week: September 10-14, 2012


Boten Infrastructure


Route 13 is the most important highway in the country of Laos. It begins at Boten in the North of Laos at the Chinese border. It connects the city of Vientiane to Luang Prabang in the north and roughly follows the line of the Mekong River down to the border with Cambodia. The road then continues at National Highway 7 in Cambodia. Also this national highway leads to connects all three international airports in Laos Vientiane Airport, Luang Prabang Airport and Pakse Airport.

Between Boten and Nateuy the Route 13 is at a length of 20 km part of the Kunming-Bangkok Expressway, which is also part of the Asian Highway AH3. From Nateuy to Vientiane, the Route 13 is part of the AH12 and from Vientiane to the border of Cambodia AH11.


Route 13 passes through the cities of Vientiane, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. The road is mostly paved, though the pavement is in poor condition at places. It is also relatively narrow, with sharp curves. There are no markings or lighting on the road. Several daily buses run from Vientiane to Luang Prabang, taking 8-10 hours.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_13_(Laos)








Boten can be reached easily by car driving trough the Asian Highway AH3 to China. Another inexpensive option is going by bus, the price Mengla (China) via Boten ticket is ¥46, a bus destination is Luang Namtha. The first bus leaves Mengla north bus station at 9am and there is another one at 14:30. It takes 4-5 hours, depending mostly on the length of the border crossing.

The Mohan-Boten (China-Laos) border is located 57 km (1.5 hours) southeast of Mengla. Chinese citizens crossing this border need a Health Card to enter Laos. A temporary health card (30 Days) can be obtained at the Mohan Entry & Exit Inspection & Quarantine office in Mohan for 40 Yuan. Their phone number is (0691) 881-1015.

Source: http://wikitravel.org/en/Luang_Namtha

Source: http://www.hugoyunnantravel.com/des_laos.asp

Boten Bus Schedule




Price (Kip)

Departure time

Estimated time of Arrival




Mengla (China) to Boten








Depending mostly on the length of the border crossing.


Luang namtha  to Boten

60 km.












Sainyabuli to Boten

239 km.






Udomxai to Boten

100 km.








Source: http://www.vietvisiontravel.com/laos/guide/

Source: http://lao-bus-time-table.blogspot.com/


Boten Natural Resources



Salt in Boten is made by boiling briny water and collecting the salt that is left behind. The salt wells in Boten, Laos, just south of the Chinese border, have brought a measure of fame to the area for centuries. Some of the salt sites face an uncertain future because of economic development from China. The area is being developed into a huge parking lot to accommodate truck and tourist traffic into and out of China.


Source: http://kurtzjack.photoshelter.com/


Boten Economic Zones

Boten (Lao PDR) – Mohan (Yunnan Province, China) Cross-border Economic Zone


http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQWckau3En09Wrt0baS8EnQh-JdGzJ0-2wtVzfwaRL9esfj6UalThe Lao PDR government decided to establish the Boten Border Trade Zone in February 2003. Boten Beautiful Land specific economic zone development is a US$500-million joint venture between China’s Yunnan Company (85%) and a Hong Kong company (15%). The zone is composed of a commerce/service zone, an industrial zone, and an administration zone. Immigration procedures and quarantine are currently carried out in Boten, while cargo customs procedures are carried out at the nearby Nateuy intersection. In 2007, China and Lao PDR agreed that all procedures would be conducted at a location 4 km from the Mohan-Boten border.



Source: http://www.investlaos.gov.la/show_encontent.php?contID=44

Source: Embassy of the Republic of Korea Week: August 20-24, 2012


Boten Financial Services

There is a branch of Lao Development Bank Service in Boten where US dollars, Thai baht and Chinese yuan be exchanged for kip.



Boten, Muang Lung Namtha, Luang Namtha District

Tel: 030 2089888


Source: http://www.ldb.org.la/


Logistic Providers in Boten

            The majority of service providers are private trucking companies providing domestic freight services. There is competition between trucking companies and the capacity of local logistic service provider is quite low. Most service providers are small providers offering only basic logistics services such as trucking.

             Source: Lao PDR Country Assessment Report, ADB 2007


Boten Business Associations

Boten Beautiful Land Specific Economic Zone,

Boten Sub-District, Luang Namtha District, Loa PDR.

Tel: (856-20) 22237878, Fax: (856-86) 218016, E-mail: [email protected]


Source: http://www.investlaos.gov.la/show_encontent.php?contID=44