Laos

Laos tours

Laos is a landlocked country of stunning natural beauty and strong spiritual traditions which remain relatively unexplored. With a population of roughly 6 million people, it is one of the least populated countries in the world. Much of the country is dominated by forested mountains, verdant valleys and broad snaking rivers which are perfect for nature lovers and those seeking the ultimate laid-back holiday.

Luang Prabang is the spiritual capital of Laos with gilded temples and saffron-robed monks receiving alms from the devotees crafting the cultural identity of the city. The capital Vientiane sits at the heart of the colonialism and history and inherits a small town like ambiance where time stands still. Southern Laos is the gateway to natural extravaganza where cascading waterfalls set the dramatic backdrop for 4000 riverine islands of mighty Mekong River.
 

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Travel tips
Passport & Visa
Who needs a visa to go to Laos?
Citizens of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as Japan, South Korea, Russia and Switzerland, enjoy visa-free access to Laos.
Most other nationalities can obtain their visa on arrival, including EU citizens, North Americans and Australians. Thirty-day tourist visas are readily available on arrival at international airports and most land borders.
Citizens of some African and Middle Eastern countries must apply for a visa in advance.
Before leaving, please check the following documents and their validity:
• Validity of the passport: > 6 months after the return
• The price of each file: 35 - 40 $
• Delivery period: 2 to 3 working days
• Maximum length of stay: 30 days
• How to obtain a visa: get a visa through the Embassy of Laos
• Health insurance: recommended
Note: If you exceed 30 days, each additional day costs $ 2. Otherwise you can leave for the country and re-enter with a new 30-day visa.
 How to get the Laos visa on arrival?
It is very easy to get visa on arrival in Laos because there is no requirements for the invitation letter. You only need to follow the steps:
• Prepare 2 pictures which are the same size as the one on the passport (4 * 6 cm).
• Prepare $ 30 ($ 42 for Canadians) in cash for the stamp fee (paid by yourself on arrival).
• Check your passport to ensure validity for at least six months.
Currency
There are three currencies used in Laos: Laos Kip( national currency), Thai Baht, and US Dollar. However,  Laos Kip and USD seems to be the most popular currencies in Laos.
International ATMs are widely available in major cities of Laos, thus exchanging between USD and Laos Kip is quite easy and convenient.
Credit and debit cards are accepted in large businesses, hotels and restaurants in Thailand. The useful suggestion would be to take some cash on you at all times to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
Exchange rate: 
1 USD = 8300 LAK
1 EURO = 9800LAK
Vaccinations & Medicines
There is no vaccination which is compulsory for international tourists before visiting Laos. But the following vaccines are recommended by the Pasteur Institute: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Poliomyelitis, Rabies, Hepatitis B, Meningitis A, C, Hepatitis A, Malaria Treatment.
Please consult your doctor or Travel health clinic before traveling.
Weather
The climate in Laos can be described as tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons a dry period in the winter ( October - April) and a humid rain period in the summer (May  to September). The annual average temperatures range from 22°C to 27°C year-round. It has been greatly influenced by the monsoon which are rather irregular.
The best time to go to Laos is between November and March when the weather is cool and conducive for traveling.
Security
In recent years, Laos has earned reputation for safe destination. While there is no significant safety risk associated with traveling elsewhere in Laos, travelers should be alert to potential crimes and carefully consider local safety standards before participating in adventure tourism activities. In addition, you should pay attention to your valuables and do not walk alone at midnight.  
Flights & Airports
Laos has international airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse with flights from Europe or Ameria.
Time difference
Its time zone is UTC + 7, 5h.
Language
The official language of the country is Lao. In tourist attractions or recreational places, English is spoken widely.
 
Electricity
Generally, the voltage in Laos is 220V so you do not need an power plug adapter or a voltage transformer. Power cuts are common in some remote areas so the best option is bringing a torch/flashlight.
Phone & Internet Service
The 4 major operators in Laos are Lao Telecom, ETL, Unitel, and Beeline. The basic requirements for installation is  your device must be unlocked and be registered with your passport/identity card. You can purchase a local SIM card at mobile stores in Vientiane or Luang Prabang.
 
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