The French colonialists once had ambitious plans to connect Laos with Vietnam by railway. Although the railway in Vietnam was completed, construction was abandoned in Laos during the 1920’s for economic reasons. The Lao railhead started somewhere near the present-day market, Talat Nabo, in Thakhaek and continued east for about 29 km. Little evidence of the railway remains today except for a completed railway bridge crossing over the Nam Don River and the remains of a second bridge near Tha Falang. To visit the bridge, travel east on Route 12 to Km 8 and turn left along a dirt road for 1 km, from where you turn right onto the old railway bed. Continue 1 km east to pass over the historic railway bridge crossing the Nam Don River.