Like most postal administrations throughout the world, that of Laos was derailed by the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 and 2021. I have long had a certain fondness for Lao stamps since first coming across the beautifully engraved Elephants set of March 17, 1958 (Scott #41-47) during my collecting youth in the 1970s. I fell in love with the country upon my first visit in April 2010 and have avidly collected their stamps ever since.  Although 2018 saw 24 stamps issued by the country, 2019 had half that number with the most recent issue being a miniature sheet of three stamps depicting “Antique Mortars” (available in both perforated and imperf formats). These appeared on 16 September 2019.

Since then, Lao Post has been silent.  Until now…

The new issue released on 2 December 2021 (Lao National Day) commemorates the inauguration of the new Laos-China Hi-Speed Rail Link. The railway is a somewhat controversial subject in the region: thousands of Lao farmers were kicked off of their land, the government of Laos now has a huge debt to China that it cannot possibly repay, the fares are priced way above what most citizens can afford, and Thailand desires the line to extend through its territory on the way to its ultimate goal — a terminus in Singapore.  As for myself, I like trains and see this as a different way to initiate my dream trip to Tibet. But that will have to wait until travel in the region becomes much, much safer.

The set of four stamps (three denominations of 4,000 kip each, 1 at 8,000 kip) were designed by Vongsavanh Damlongsouk and printed using offset lithography.  The designs show the rail link’s inauguration ceremony, the Vientiane railway station as well as the train crossing a bridge and exiting a tunnel. There is a print run of 80,000 copies of each stamp. These appear in a miniature sheet of four stamps in both perforated and imperforate varieties; each sheet is sold for 20,000 kip.

Laos – Inauguration of Laos-China Hi-Speed Rail Link (miniature sheet). Released on 2 December 2021.

A first day cover is also available.

I do not know when these items will become available in the online shop of Lao Post (I couldn’t find them upon checking this afternoon). I suspect that some of the stamp dealers who operate out of northern Thailand will eventually have these for sale.

For more information about the railway, please read the following webpages:

Boten-Vientiane Railway (Wikipedia)

Laos-China Railway (The People’s Map)

Laos-China Railway Inaugurated Amid Mounting Debt Concerns (The Diplomat)

Thailand Seeks Connection With Laos-China Railway (The Star)

2 thoughts on “First Stamps From Laos Since 2019

  1. Wee Tan says:

    Lao Post’s online shop – I don’t know if what I see is the same as yours. The page is blank without anything on sale. Or do you have to register a membership first? Yet it does not seem to allow me to register after I have input the online form.

    • Mark Joseph Jochim says:

      The functionality of the website seems to be down at the moment. I usually buy Lao stamps from dealers based in Thailand but most of the ones I have used in the past have yet received this particular issue.

      Here are the contact details for Lao Post, including their Bangkok office:
      House no. 182/11
      Bangkok Road
      Sishika, Bangkok, Thailand

      Phone Numbers, in Laos: (+856-21) 214843; (+856-21) 212779

      No 182/11 Lanexang Avenue
      Sisaketh Village
      Chanthaboury District
      Vientiane, Lao PDR


      I hope this helps.

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