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Laos

Laos Travel Guide

Quick Facts

💰Currency Lao kip (₭)
🔄Exchange Rate US$1 = ₭21378.36
💬Language Lao
🗣️English Fluency Moderate
🏙️Capital Vientiane
👥Population 7.3 million
🚘Driving Side right
🔌Plugs A, B, C, E, F
🕑Time Indochina Time (UTC+07:00)
🍽️Must-Try Laap, Tam mak hoong, Khao soi, Or lam, Sticky rice

Backpacker Budget: US$16 ( 342,054)

Hostel Dorm US$5 ( 106,892)
Takeaway Meal US$2 ( 42,757)
Public transport US$1 ( 21,378)
Long-distance bus US$10 ( 213,784)
Entrance Fee US$4 ( 85,513)
Beer US$1.5 ( 32,068)

When to go?

November to February High Season - Dry and cooler weather
May to October Low Season - Rainy season with occasional flooding

What's unique?

Welcome to Laos, a hidden gem in Southeast Asia! Nestled between Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and China, this landlocked country offers a tranquil and authentic travel experience for those seeking something off the beaten path. Laos is renowned for its untouched natural beauty, from the lush mountains of Luang Prabang to the tranquil waters of the Mekong River.

Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng are the two touristic hotspots in Laos and certainly worth a visit, but don't miss out on exploring the countryside. Rent a motorbike to explore the caves on the Thonglor Loop or the scenic waterfalls of the Bolaven Plateau and take a boat to remote Muang Ngoy.

With its laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals, Laos invites you to slow down and immerse yourself in its unique blend of tradition and tranquility.

Wat Pa Phai in Luang Prabang
Wat Pa Phai in Luang Prabang

Laos Adventure
(3 weeks)

  1. 1
    Luang Prabang

    Fly in or arrive by boat on the Mekong from Huay Xai on the Thai border. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site with its stunning temples and don't miss the Kuang Si wasserfalls.

  2. 2
    Nong Khiaw

    Enjoy the scenic beauty of limestone mountains, and hike to the viewpoints.

  3. 3
    Muang Ngoy

    Escape to this remote village accessible only by boat, relax in a hammock and go kayaking.

  4. 4
    Plain of Jars

    Base yourself in Phonsavan, then rent a motorbike for the day and visit the mysterious archaeological sites with ancient giant stone jars. Don't miss Phonsavan night market.

  5. 5
    Vang Vieng

    Indulge in outdoor activities like tubing, rock climbing, and exploring limestone caves.

  6. 6
    Thakhek Loop

    Rent a motorbike for a few days and ride through scenic karst landscapes and visit caves.

  7. 7
    Bolaven Plateau Loop

    Discover waterfalls, coffee plantations, and ethnic minority villages. Best done as a multi-day motorbike trip from Pakse.

  8. 8
    4000 Islands

    Relax on the peaceful islands of the Mekong River and spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. You can continue to Cambodia from here or take a bus to Vientiane.

Tad Lo Waterfall
Tad Lo Waterfall

Fun Fact

Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia

FAQ

Is Laos safe for tourists?

Laos is generally a safe country for tourists. However, it is important to take normal safety precautions such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being aware of your surroundings. When renting a motorbike, insist on getting a helmet and wear it.

What are the must-visit tourist destinations in Laos?

Some of the must-visit tourist destinations in Laos include Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Vang Vieng, and the Plain of Jars.

What are some essential phrases in the Lao language?

Some essential phrases in the Lao language include: 1. Hello - Sabaidee 2. Thank you - Khop jai 3. How much does it cost? - Tao dai? 4. Where is the bathroom? - Hong nam yu sai? 5. Yes - Chai 6. No - Baw

What's the best way to get around in Laos?

The best way to get around in Laos is by local buses or minivans for longer journeys. Some routes are operated by a new high-speed rail. Rent a motorbike to explore rural areas.

Travel Tips

  • Money Card payment is often possible, but not always
  • ATM Fees All ATMs charge fees
  • ATMs to avoid (high fees) JDB
  • Do greet people with a respectful 'Nop' (hands placed together in a prayer-like gesture) when meeting them.
  • Do remove your shoes when entering someone's home or a temple.
  • Do dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • Do ask for permission before taking photos of local people.
  • Do try the local cuisine and respect local customs.
  • Don't point your feet towards someone or something sacred.
  • Don't raise your voice or display anger in public.
Disclosure: This travel guide may contain affiliate links
Cover: Vang Vieng

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