Famous for its relaxed atmosphere, the country never fails to deliver guests unique experiences and unexpected moments of discovery with every visit. As yet to be frequented trails are being researched and developed, the tourist map is expanding and the opportunity for experiential travel becomes ever greater in this compelling destination. Lao's responsible tourism ethos continues to lead the way in the region as the eco-tourism concept and development of sustainable practices gains ground.
Famous for its relaxed atmosphere, the country never fails to deliver guests unique experiences and unexpected moments of discovery with every visit. Situated on the confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage city shrouded in mist, mountains and jungle, and a center for Lao culture. The capital of Vientiane resembles a small town more than a capital city. Its position along the banks of the Mekong contributes to the leisurely ambiance, making it a pleasant town to explore by foot or bike.
From November to February the weather in Laos is cool and dry while March to June sees temperatures soaring in to the high 30s (Celsius). July to October tend to be rainy, washing out some roads thus making rural areas inaccessible. The Lao people are very sociable and if you happen to be in the country during one of their festivals, you are sure to get caught up in the lively atmosphere.
MONEY : Lao Kip; US Dollars and Thai Baht are widely accepted in the main cities. Moneychangers are found in the cities and an increasing number of ATMs are appearing, however they distribute Laos Kip and have a low limit. As of July 12 : 1USD = 8000 Kip
VISAS : Foreign tourists are generally admitted into Laos for 30 days with a visa on arrival (obtained at most border check points) or for 30 days with a visa issued at a Laotian embassy. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months.
ELECTRICITY : Lao uses 220V. Power outlets usually feature two prong round or flat sockets however, there is no standard. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adaptor.
DIALING CODE : +856
TIME ZONE : GMT/UTC +7
GETTING THERE & AWAY : The two main international airports are in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. The smaller Pakse Airport in the south serves the international flight to/and Siem Reap, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh city. There are no direct flights from Europe or very few from other countries to Laos. The most frequent connections are from Bangkok (Thailand).
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS : Laos’ main holidays are based around the Buddhist calendar and will cause little disruption to travel plans. Other festivals such as Lao New Year (April) and Boat Racing (August in Luang Prabang; October in Vientiane) may see some restaurants and businesses close, but are colorful times to visitand experience Lao culture.
LANGUAGEThe national language is Lao, which is closely related to Thai and is spoken in many different dialects. Lao,like Thai, is a tonal language. French is still spoken by many educated members of the older generation but Thai and English are popular with younger people.
- Hello : Sa ba dee
- Thank you : Khop jai
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