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Map

Laos Map

Regions
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Vientiane

Whether it’s on foot or on bike, by tuk tuk or taxi, Laos’s capital, Vientiane is one of the pearls of South East Asia. As well as a tour of the city to include Tad Luang with its Buddha relics and the Kaisone Phomvihane and Hor Pra Kheo museums, make sure you also have time for the wild elephants at Ban Na and the sublime treks available just a short ride away.

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Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, is a jewel of unparalleled beauty in the heart of Northern Laos. The Royal capital of the Lane Xang period, religious centre with several temples, the region is one to visit for more than just a quick sojourn. Make sure you take in the incredible scenery, intrinsic architecture and visit the local hill tribe. These are just some of the treasures that await in the laid-back pace of life of Luang Prabang. 

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Vang Vieng

The adventurous heart of Laos, Vang Vieng offers something unique and special for all of visitors. Whether it is the ancient ruins, the paddy fields of mulberry groves, time seems to stand still here. Famous for its rock climbing, caving and kayaking on the Nam Song River, really enjoy this corner of South East Asia for all it has to offer.

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Pakse

Pakse or Pakxe is the capital and most populous city in the southern province of Champasak, making it the third most populous city in Laos. Located at the confluence of the Xe Don and Mekong Rivers, it has a population of about 88,000.

Key Facts

Weather

Laos follows a monsoon pattern climate and has three seasons, the hot season (Feb-May), rainy season (June to Oct) and the cold season (Oct – Feb).

Currency

Laotian Kip is the currency of Laos. There are ATM and buereau de change in the major tourist areas. USD and Thai Baht are sometimes accepted as alternatives, especially in the tourist areas. 

Electrics

The plugs used in Laos are flat or round in the main towns that have modern electrical fittings. However, if you are away from the main towns many guest houses have flat pin only sockets.

Visa requirements

You can receive a visa on arrival for $35. Make sure you have your passport pictures and cash to hand to expedite the process. 

National Food & Drink

Rice is the staple diet for Laotians but with a range of fish sauce, lemongrass, coriander leaves, chillies or lime juice to give it a distinctive taste along with some meat.

Lao-Lao is a rice whisky which is widely drunk across the country. 

Local Culture

The local culture has been heavily influenced by its Indochina neighbours and its Buddhist populations.

Times zones

Laos is in the Indochina time zone which is +7 GMT

Language

Lao or Laotian is the official language. English is understood and spoken in the tourist areas. Some older Laotians will also be able to converse in French.

Shopping

Laos is great for picking up well priced elaborate handicrafts. Hill-tribe silks, arts, crafts, home-furnishings, jewellery and textiles. Make sure you barter in the markets!

History

Laos gained independence from France in 1950 having been under its rule since 1893. Today, The Lao People's Democratic Republic has been the official name of this Communist country since 1975. 

Transport

The most convenient way to reach the major tourist destination is through air travel. The domestic rail and road networks are developing.

Drinking Water

You should only drink sealed bottled water. Your hotel should provide you with this. When outside, ensure that the water you buy is sealed with a plastic cover to avoid contamination.

Key dates

Date                    Name

January 1           New Year

March 8              International Women's Day

April 14-16         Lao New Year

May 1                  Labour Day

December 2       Lao National Day

Top Things To Do
Kayaking and Tubing in Vang Vieng

Kayaking and Tubing in Vang Vieng

Make sure you take a trip to the river on a rubber tube or by paddling on the rapids in Vang Vieng. Enjoy the karst limestone formations along the Nam Song River over a strong or calm current. An opportunity not to be missed! 

Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang

Kuang Si Waterfalls in Luang Prabang

A cold blue-green waterfall is awaiting you. Swim and jump at Kuang Si Waterfall to truly experience its beauty.

Weaving Textile

Weaving Textile

Ethnic tribes have mastered weaving textile and it is still one of the main income sources. Come and learn this artisan craftsmanship and bring home the best weaved products you've ever made.

Trekking

Trekking

 

Laos is place for nature lovers and hikers because of its rugged mountain forests. Explore the remote hill villages up north on foot. 

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