The land of millions of elephants, Laos, covers mountains, jungles, and the Mekong River dominates the landscape. Devoutly Buddhist and largely undeveloped, Laos offers travelers the opportunity to experience the rich traditions, natural beauty and feel of Asia as it once was.
Our travels to this intriguing country include time in Luang Prabang – a perfectly preserved combination of rural colonial architecture and gilded monasteries – and in the relaxed waterfront capital of Vientiane.
Landlocked Laos is a place for anyone who offers travelers the opportunity to travel from north to south through a variety of landscapes and cultures, by boat and on the road. In addition, many travelers have chosen to combine their Laos experience with time in Cambodia or Vietnam, traveling by land and through daily flights that have been scheduled.
Visa Requirements and Departure Tax: Travelers (European, American, Australian, new) can easily obtain 15-day tourist visas on arrival in Laos provided they provide $ 30 and one passport photo per person.
Travelers often visit Laos on its classic routes, such as spending a few days in Vientiane, from where the historical and cultural aspect of the nation will flourish by visiting some of the oldest pagodas in the country. In addition, adventure seekers often stop in Vang Vieng to cool off and stop halfway between Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
Travelers can obtain a visa to Laos upon arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport. Note that the Indochina Observer, Bangkok – Hanoi and images of Indochina travelers will need to obtain a visa to Vietnam before arriving in Indochina.
InsuranceA: You must be comprehensively insured as a condition of travel in Laos. Insurance should include personal coverage, medical expenses, loss of luggage, and cancellation or reduction of your vacation. You can confirm your insurance details during the trip at the embassy and / or at the travel organizer at the beginning of the trip. If you do not have the appropriate insurance, you can apply for it. Please note that travel insurance can be “fixed” on your credit card, although usually such coverage is only valid if travel arrangements have been purchased with this card. Credit card insurance coverage often does not include medical expenses. Please check your policy carefully. You should have enough insurance to cover you in case you suffer from medical problems while traveling.
Money: The official currency of Laos is the bale, but cash in US dollars is accepted almost everywhere. The Thai baht is quite acceptable, albeit at less favorable rates. Since you will be accumulating Cyprus when changing payments in US dollars, it is recommended to change either nothing or very little (e.g. US $ 30) to boiling water on arrival in Laos. In addition, TS recommends carrying a combination of cash and traveler’s checks. Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) can only be used in a limited number of shops and restaurants in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Travelers crossing from Chiang Hong / Huai Hai Street in Thailand can exchange money at fair rates near the Huai Hai visa point (Laos). As your time in Laos will be limited, take enough money with you for the duration of your trip.
Climate: Laos is affected by the annual monsoon cycle in Southeast Asia. “Wet” season – from May to October. At this time in the tropical lowlands, the average temperature is 30 degrees Celsius, and the mountains remain colder. The first half of the “dry” season – from November to February; the temperature at this time ranges from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius.
The morning and evening in northern Laos around Luang Prabang at this time of year can be quite cool. People traveling between Huai Xai and Luang Prabang in the Mekong should finally bring one layer of warm clothing. In the second half of the “dry” season – from March to June – the temperature can rise to 35 degrees Celsius. Many travelers prefer Laos outside of the dry season; tourists are less, and rainfall is often limited to short-term showers, which creates a different atmosphere for the country and towns.
Luggage and clothing: Your luggage should be clearly marked and kept to a reasonable minimum. Airline baggage restrictions are strictly enforced, and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not always available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
Comfortable casual wear made of cotton is best suited in tropical and semi-tropical climates. It is advisable to pack one set of smart casual wear. Laundry services are sold nationwide, although laundry costs at hotels can be expensive.
Make sure you bring with you:
Flat walking shoes and sandals
Hat and sunglasses
Cloak or umbrella
The main first aid kit
A small torch
Pocket knife of the Swiss army
Sanitary ware for women
Slide or any specialized film when used (printed film is widely available in Laos)
Effective earphone earbuds
One layer of warm clothing (for trips to the Mekong between Huai and Luang Prabang from November to March)