Some of the things I find interesting must seem odd to you.
I remember when this bridge opened in 1994 and at the time, I felt some pride that it was an Australian initiative and that we paid for it. I don't actually know if it has benefited Laos but it must make life easier for the locals, but perhaps the nefarious too. (hey, doesn't using the word nefarious make me sound smart. I just need to slip paradigm in somewhere soon. I better find out what it means first) It is now called the First Thai Lao Friendship Bridge, as I think number four is presently being constructed.
Now, who was it who insisted it was strongly constructed so that a train could travel across it? I can't recall, but someone did, against those who wanted a cheaper version. Guess what? A train track has now been added and trains use it too. Cars have to stop.
The King of Thailand left his country for something like the first time in fifty years for the opening of the bridge, and has never left since.
It may well have been ABC radio's The World Today that alerted me to the construction of the bridge. I recall asking workmates from the respective countries about it but none knew of it. What I did glean at the time was that Thailand drives on left, as we do, and Laos, an former French colony, drives on the right. I suppose it is not the only place it happens in the world, but how do the drivers change sides? I imagined an overpass of some type but a simpler system of traffic lights was used. I am so disappointed to learn this. I imagined some sort of flyover that changes the traffic from right to left.
Sister has driven on the wrong side of the road in the US. Very brave, not sure that I could do it.
But wouldn't it be very weird switching from one side of the road to the other?
As is said in chatrooms, 'stats?'
Over one kilometre long, 12.7 metres wide and high enough for a 13 metre variation in the height of the Mekong River.
Here is a very flattering photo from the designer's website, AECOM.