Laos officially opened the 25th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) last Wednesday in a ceremony highlighting the traditions and cultures of Laos' multi-ethnic people, at the new 20,000-seat main stadium that is located at KM 16 along Route 13 South in the Saythany District of Vientiane capital.
Thanks to China who built the new sports complex in exchange for a 50-year concession on an area of 1,600 hectares of the Thaluang marshland adjacent to the stadium where Chinese investors will develop a new urban center, Lao authorities were able to use the $100 million national stadium as the main venue for the SEA Games, as well as for the closing ceremony which will take place on December 18th.
During the opening ceremony that highlighted Laos' multi-ethnic cultures and traditions, over 8,000 young Lao men and women wearing costumes representing each of the 49 ethnic groups marched into the stadium.
With such unique Lao cultural demonstration, Lao authorities were confident that their first ever SEA Games opening ceremony has impressed the spectators as well as those who watched live television across the country and overseas. They also believed that the Games have attracted over 20,000 spectators as planned because all tickets, priced from 200 thousand to 500 thousand kips, or approximately $24 to $60, were sold out prior to the opening of the Games.
They also believed that the SEA Games have brought over 60,000 tourists to Vientiane during this time.
For more details in Lao, click on our audio files.
(English translation of Songrit's report by Buasawan Simmala and Dara Baccam)