Boten (ບໍ່ເຕນ) is the only Laos–China border open to foreigners and makes for an easy short excursion while en route from Udomxai to Luang Namtha. This frontier border outpost is a spectacular case of boom to bust and has become a ghost town since 2011 after China banned its citizens from gambling here, rendering Boten's hotels, casinos, malls and karaoke parlours redundant.
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