Capital Vientiane: Vientiane
Government Type: Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Total Area: 91,428 Square Miles; 236,800 Square Kilometers
Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam
Language: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
Laos can be reached by air, land and river. There is regular air service to Laos operated by Thai International, Viet Nam Airlines, Lao Airlines, China Southern, Bangkok Airways and Air Asia. The busiest entry-exit point by land is the Friendship Bridge that connects Vientiane to Nong Khai, Thailand. Another popular overland border crossing is Houeixai that links northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai province to northwestern Laos at the center of the infamous Golden Triangle.
Visas and Border Formalities
Option1: Thirty-day visas are available from Lao Embassies and consulates abroad.
Option2: You can obtain visa up on arrival and fast track visa is available once you have booked VIP services with us. Our representative will assist you up on the arrival hall and complete all the immigration procedures on your behalf without having you there in line. Please hand in 1. Six months validity passport, 2. Visa fees (subject to the nationalities), 3. 1xPassport photo. A $1 charge may apply for arrival after working hours and possibly $1 payable for if the passport photo is not available.
It is highly recommend 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. There are three distinct seasons: cool from November-February; hot from March-May and rainy from June -October. Most people visit from October to February, however the rainy season offers lush green landscapes, and is crowned by the colorful Lao New Year’s festival in April.
High quality international standard hospitals and clinics are still limited in Laos, if you are having any particular health issues and require special medication, please do bring with you as some of these medications may not be available here. Most of hotels have 24hours power supply and some do have power generator for back up, please ask our travel consultants for more details. 24hours International clinics are available in major cities including Luang Prabang and Vientiane and in case of serious condition, the patients will be transported to the hospitals in Thailand. Precautionary measures like eating only well-cooked food, drinking bottled water, staying hydrated, avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes and wearing protective clothing will help prevent most common ailments.
Lao Airline operates both domestic and international connects all major cities including Vientiane, Xieng Khuang, Luang Prabang, Luang Namtha, Savannakhet and Pakse. They are using ATR 72-200 (70seats), MA 60 (56seats), A320. Lao Skyway is the second carrier that serves flights to small cities where Lao Airlines can not be landed for instance, Sam Nua, Oudomxay, Phongsaly, Houeixai by using MA60 (56seats), MI-17VI (22seats), CESSANA 208 (11seats).
Seats assignment is not possible in advance. If you wish to secure a seat, please come to check in counter 2hours early prior to departure.
Lao Airline is giving 20kg checked baggage and 5kgs carry-on. Excess baggage will be charged at U$5per kilo for both domestic and international.
Traveling with Children
Laos is a safe, quiet country with a lot to explore for both adults and children. Lao people love kids, and bringing yours along will arouse attention and curiosity that will open the door for priceless cultural interactions.
The official currency of Laos is the kip. All major hotels and restaurants accept credit cards with additional charge from 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 through out the major cities like Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse.
Tipping in Laos is not customary but it is greatly appreciated by those who serve you. Depend up on your satisfaction on his/her service given and of course for their hard work, you may tip them around U$10-U$15/day for guides and U$5-U$10/day for drivers or boat men. Again, there is not rule of how much you should tip waiters and waitresses but any between 5%-10% of the bill up is highly appreciated.