In the middle of the fast development of its neighbors, traveling in Laos is a real return to the past, where we can be dazzled by Asian traditions that have already been lost in neighboring countries.
Leading the way in eco-tourism in Asia, Laos is a green-tiled country, a excellent destination for nature lovers, with mountains, underground caves, rice fields and breathtaking waterfalls.
Complementing this scenario, Laos transpires spirituality. The contagious calm of the Buddhist temples, the contact with the life of the saffron-colored monks and the daily rituals of the Buddhist population makes the trip to Laos an unforgettable spiritual journey.
Laotian. Due to the fact that Laos was part of the old French colonial empire, the French language is widely spoken throughout the country, essentially by the older generations. English is only now beginning to be used by younger generations.
• Official Currency – Kip (LAK)
• Credit and ATM cards – ATMs, are practically only existent in Vientiane and it is only possible to raise small amounts (between 60 and 70 euros). One solution remains to raise money in banks. For credit cards, especially in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, only a few hotels and resorts more connected to tourism accept payments with Visa and MasterCard. Outside these two cities they are practically useless.
High season – between December and February and also the month of August. It is especially filled the month of January.
Between November and February the rains are not very frequent and the temperature is not too hot, being the best time to visit the country.
In the more northern areas, especially in the mountainous areas, the hot season (from March to May) and the end of the rainy season (in June) are also reasonably good to visit Laos.
In the southern areas of the country, the months of March and May should be avoided, as temperatures very easily reach 40 degrees either day or night.
Visa is required to enter Laos. The visa can be obtained through the embassies and consulates of Laos or at the entrance of the country (Visa On Arrival) and is granted for a maximum period of 30 days.
Up to two extensions can be requested through the Immigration Office in Vientiane. Like many other countries, passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months at the time of entry into Laos and must be accompanied by 2 passport photographs.
Laos Official Tourism Website:
• Attapu Airport
• Ban Houayxay Airport
• Boun Neau Airport
• Luang Namtha Airport
• Airports Luang Prabang
• Airport Pakse
• Airport Savannakhet
• Airport Vientiane
• Xam Nua Airport
Telecommunications and Internet
• Country Code Phone Number +856
• Telephone calls – For longer stays, to reduce costs, it is always advisable to purchase a local SIM card at the airport or at any telecommunications store. You can easily upload in mini-markets, mobile phone shops or small roadside stores.
• Internet – It is relatively easy to access Wi-Fi for free everywhere, whether in cybercafes or in local cafes or restaurants. In rural areas the connection may be a bit slower.
Most of citizens follow the Theravada Buddhism. However, there is still a considerable percentage of inhabitants following traditional local beliefs. Other religions are present, but in a very small percentage.
In addition to the routine vaccines that should be up to date, for those who are traveling to Laos are still recommended the following:
• Hepatitis A
• Typhoid fever
• Japanese Encephalitis
• Yellow fever
Malaria is spread all over the country except in the capital, Vientiane. Prophylaxis is recommended through the use of Mefloquine, Malarone or Doxycycline.
Exceptions: Mefloquine is ineffective in the provinces of Bokeo and Louang Namtha, on the border with Myanmar, and in the provinces of Saravane and Champassack, on the border with Thailand.