LAOS TRAVEL GUIDE
Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), is one of the most peaceful countries in Southeast Asia. A mountainous and landlocked country, Laos shares borders with 5 countries; Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China with Mekong River that is running crosses in between the nations. Currently, there are 27 international Border checkpoints which included land border and International Airport.
VISA AND BORDER FORMALITIES
The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism have been instructed to more widely promote the Lao Thiao Lao campaign as well as encourage more international visitors to Laos through the Green Travel Zone program. The aim is to revive the tourism industry and the economy as the government eases COVID-19 restrictions to gradually normalize the situation.
There are three different ways that you can obtain a tourist visa to LAOS:
- You can contact Lao embassies and consulates in your country of origin. For more details, please visit www.mofa.gov.la.
- There are 22 ports of entry in Laos where international visitors from eligible countries will be able to obtain a Lao tourist visa to enter Laos. For more details, please visit www.immigration.gov.la. There is usually a queue at Visa on Arrival counters, which can mean a wait of up to one and a half hours. To overcome this issue, we are providing the Fast Track Visa service as an option to jump the queue for an additional fee. Our representative will be waiting at the arrival hall to collect your passport and immigration application to proceed with the visa stamp whilst you are free to go directly to the baggage claim section. Every visitor needs to bring these with them: (a) passport, (b) visa fees (depending on nationality), (c) 1 passport photo, possibly $1 payable if a passport photo is not available, and (d). Arriving after working hours may result in a $1 charge.
A Lao Electronic Visa (eVisa) www.laoevisa.gov.la has recently been implemented, which allows travelers to quickly get the necessary authorization prior to entering the country. If all of the information provided by applicants meets the criteria and is accepted by the Lao Government Authorities, the E-visa application can be processed within three working days; otherwise, the processing time may be longer.We suggest that you proceed at least fourteen days before your arrival in Laos. The Lao eVisa (Laos approval letter) is only valid for one entry and 30 days of stay and can be used at five international ports:
(1) Wattay International Airport (Vientiane capital)
(2) Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (Vientiane capital)
(3) Luang Prabang International Airport (Luang Prabang Province)
(4) Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II (Savanhnakhet province)
(5) Pakse International Airport (Champasak province)
VISA EXEMPTION / NON-EXEMPTION
Citizens of ASEAN member countries as well as some other countries, who have special agreement with Laos, are exempt from Lao visa. Whilst there are 29countries are not eligible for Lao visa on arrival (Effective from October, 2009). For more information, please visit www.laos-guide-999.com
It is highly recommended that you must have comprehensive travel insurance whilst traveling in Laos. The insurance should cover your emergency medical and hospital expenses, luggage and personal effects, travel delay expenses and so on. Most of our travel packages do not come with insurance, please contact our representative for further information.
Laos generally enjoys a mild tropical climate, but it can get quite chilly in the cool season. Temperatures range from 10 – 40 degrees Celsius in the Mekong Valley and may dip below zero in the mountains and on the Xieng Khouang and Bolaven Plateaus.
Cool-season: November – February
Hot season: March-May
Rainy season: June -October
If you have a medical condition that requires the usage of a specific drug, please bring it with you because some of these medications may not be available here. The majority of hotels have a 24-hour power supply, and some even have a backup generator. Please contact us prior to your departure if you require medical assistance. In addition, international clinics are located in major cities such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane, and patients would be sent to Thai hospitals in the event of a serious condition. We recommend taking precautions including such eating only well-cooked food, drinking bottled water, staying hydrated, and wearing protective clothing to help prevent insect bites.
Lao Airlines operates both domestic and international connections to all major cities in Laos. They are using the ATR 72-200 (70 seats), MA 60 (56 seats), and A320. Lao Airlines is giving 20 kg of checked baggage and 5 kg of carry-on. Excess baggage will be charged at $5 per kilo for both domestic and international flights.
Lao Skyway is the second carrier that serves flights to main cities, including small cities where Lao Airlines cannot land, for instance, Sam Nua, Oudomxay, Phongsaly, and Houaixai using MA60 (56 seats), MI-17VI (22 seats), and CESSANA 208 (11 seats).
Seat assignment is not possible in advance for both carriers. If you wish to secure a seat, please inform our guide in advance for an early departure arrangement.
TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN
Laos is a secure, peaceful country with enough to see and do for adults and children alike. Lao people adore children, and taking yours along will pique their interest and pique their curiosity, resulting in amazing cultural interactions.
The official currency of Laos is the kip. All major hotels and restaurants accept credit cards with an additional charge of 2.5%-3%. ATMs accept Visa, Mastercard, and several cards with inter-bank access and dispense kip notes. Thai baht and US dollars are generally accepted in larger urban centers. Exchange boxes are widely available throughout the major cities like Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Pakse.
Tipping in Laos is not customary, but it is greatly appreciated by those who serve you. Depending on your satisfaction with his/her service and, of course, on their hard work, you may tip them between $10 and $15 per day for guides and $5 to $10 per day for drivers or boat men. Again, there is no rule for how much you should tip waiters and waitresses, but any amount between 5% and 10% of the bill is highly appreciated.