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Things to know before visiting Laos

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Laos Travel Guide

Laos is not only known for its beautiful landscapes that always captivate people, but it is also known for its delicious cuisine, with friendly and hospitable people. Here are things you need to know before traveling to Laos.

1. Laos Visa 

You will require a visa to enter Laos unless you have a passport from Japan or one of the ASEAN member countries. This can be done before or after arriving at major land border crossings. The cost of a visa depends on your nationality and is indicated in US dollars. Although you may pay for the visa in Thai baht or other currencies, you'll get a better exchange rate if you pay in US dollars.

The good news is that you won't need to plan ahead of time; thirty-day visas are now accessible at most international crossings. It should be noted that all travelers must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after their arrival in Laos.

2. How to get to Laos 

Lao Airlines is the country's national airline. There are no direct flights from the United States or Europe; most flights go through Bangkok, China, Vietnam, or Cambodia. Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, and Vietnam Airlines are among the popular airlines that fly into Laos (

Connections are also feasible from Thailand's Chiang Mai and Udon Thani, Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Cambodia's Siem Reap, China's Kunming, and Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Flying to Laos may be extremely expensive due to the absence of direct flights, however, this is more than offset by the inexpensive cost of living and traveling once there. 

The peak season for flights to Southeast Asia is from the beginning of July through the end of August, as well as most of December when rates might be 20% more than at other times of the year.

Laos Travel Packages, some of which include the nation as part of a larger Indochina sweep, are inherently more costly and less spontaneous than solo travel but are worth considering if you have limited time or a specific interest. Threeland Travel bookings will surely save you money. 

3. Getting around Laos 

When visiting Laos, it is crucial to understand that transportation is not as developed as in surrounding nations.
If you want to see the entire nation, it is advisable to rent a car at the airport or hire a local driver. As previously said, paved roads are not everywhere, and it is best to travel with a native who is familiar with Lao roads.

Tuk-tuks are the most popular means of transportation due to their low cost and ease. Hiring a bike is a terrific way to get some exercise while seeing the city. 

4. When to visit Laos 

Laos is accessible all year. November through January, when the temperature is at its coldest, is the most popular season to visit Laos. Yet, if you'll be in the extreme north of the nation, temperatures at night may get rather chilly, occasionally approaching freezing.

If you're traveling between May and September, carry a rain jacket or a poncho. While it is unlikely that it will rain all day every day, afternoon showers are fairly likely.

5. Money and payment in Laos 

The official currency of Laos is the Lao kip (LAK), however, Thai baht and US dollars are widely recognized and occasionally preferred. The currency rate is determined by the merchant or business, so keep an eye on it! When you pay in US dollars, you will most likely be given Lao kip as change.

You'll need cash. Don't expect to use your credit card much outside of the hotel. ATMs may be found in key tourist locations around Laos. Similarly in other Southeast Asian nations, you should save little change wherever feasible. Since someone is unlikely to have changed, use lesser denominations to pay for street food and services.

6. Food and drink in Laos 

Laos has incredible culinary traditions, with bold flavors and strong spices. Lao food is generally quite safe, but there are a few dishes that can cause minor health issues.

Avoid eating raw meat or fish because it can harbor dangerous bacteria that can ruin your vacation. Raw fruits and vegetables are fine, but it is best to wash them first to avoid ingesting pesticides. Padek, a fermented fish sauce, is the national flavoring sauce of Laos. Despite its strong aroma, it is perfectly safe to eat, even if many travelers find its flavor overpowering.

Lao water is generally safe when it enters the system, but due to the aging pipe network, its safety cannot be guaranteed when it comes out of your tap. Fortunately, bottled water is widely available for purchase. For the environmentally conscious, there are bottle refill stations in many major cities, as well as in many hotels and guesthouses. A refillable bottle is not only good for the environment but also good for your wallet.

7. Safety rate in Laos 

Typically, Laos is reasonably safe, however, due to the poverty of the people, there are extraordinarily high rates of both petty and violent crime. You should be cautious and take all available precautions to reduce the possibility of things going wrong. Tourists should also be careful when going into crowded places or too late at night. Note when there are strangers, especially be wary of people who want to get acquainted or want to see your Passport.

Laos' transportation conditions have greatly improved in recent years. Laos' roadways have greatly improved and taking buses and trucks have become increasingly popular with visitors. Please be cautious of pickpockets and always negotiate the costs before renting the vehicle.

Petty criminality is in great danger. Pickpockets are nearly an everyday occurrence, therefore you should be exceedingly cautious while handling your valuables and never carry your money in a handbag or pocket. Markets and public transportation including bus terminals, and railway stations are among the most dangerous sites.

For female solo travelers, Laos is quite secure. Sexual harassment does occur, however infrequently, but you should remain cautious. Avoid carrying handbags and avoid walking alone or in desolate or poorly lit streets and neighborhoods.

8. Laos Travel Insider Tips 

- Do not touch a monk. Touching a monk is considered impolite, and it is much worse if you are a woman. Women are also forbidden from grooming themselves in front of monks on the street, at temples, or when riding in a tuk-tuk.
When you wish to donate something to the monks, you should give it to the man with you indirectly. You are only permitted to donate food directly to the monks when they go for alms every morning.

- Remove footwear before entering a private home. If you get the opportunity to have tours to Laos, you are not permitted to wear shoes inside the house. Because the Lao people think that shoes belong outside, you can enter the house wearing sandals or barefoot. Certain laws apply in various specific sites in Laos, such as temples, restaurants, and people's private homes. While the host may instruct you to put on your shoes, if you notice them taking them off, it is courteous to do so as well.

- Refuse to buy wildlife products. If you visit Laos, do not carry any wildlife goods with you. Because this is a restricted item. If your stuff is confiscated by Lao customs, you will be penalized heavily. Bringing Buddha statues out of Laos is likewise illegal.

- SIM Cards in Laos are quite cheap. visitors can easily buy a prepaid Sim Card at the Airport or supermarket to use. The country code for Laos is “856”, and the area code for some regions in Laos: Loan Prabang: 71; Pakse:31; Pakxan: 54; Svannaakhet: 41; Thakhek: 51; Vientiane capital: 21.

- The voltage is 220 volts AC. Two-pin sockets with flat prongs are usual. Several smaller towns, including some provincial capitals, have power for only a few hours in the evening or none at all, so pack a light. 

- In Laos, tourists cannot drink tap water directly. Must drink boiled or bottled water to ensure hygiene.

- Tourists traveling to Laos need to dress appropriately. Because Laos is a Buddhist country, people attach great importance to religious culture, so it is necessary to pay attention to how to dress appropriately, especially when visiting places of worship such as temples, pagodas, and churches ... should dress properly. 

- Carry ID when going out. The law in Laos stipulates that when going out on the street, you must carry ID because the police can check anyone when necessary. If you don’t have it, you may have to pay a fine of 100,000 kips.

- In tourist areas such as temples, pagodas, and memorial temples, sanitation is strictly managed. If anyone spits, throws garbage on the street or urinates at the wrong place, they will be severely fined.

Keep these travel tips in mind as you explore Laos, and you'll have a fantastic time! Feel free to contact Threeland Travel to know more about Laos Holiday Deals and we will be delighted to assist you and bring you a memorable experience in Laos!