laos TRAVEL GUIDE
VISA: The USA and most European countries need a visa to travel Laos and you can obtain these at the border. The cost of a visa is $30 USD but varies depending on which passport you are holding. Check here to find out how much a visa cost for you.
CURRENCY: Laotian KIP is the currency of Laos. 8,000 KIP is about 1 USD. ATM’s are easy to find in Laos except in the 4,000 Islands in south so plan accordingly.
LANGUAGE: Lao is the official language of Laos but it won’t be too difficult to find English speaking locals.
Best Time to Visit
∇ Rainy season or monsoon season is during the summer months May through September. This means that it pours rain every day for at least a couple hours.
Prices are cheaper and you don’t have to book ahead of time because it is off season.
* Laos isn’t as developed as other countries so this makes things very muddy.
∇ November to February are nice months to travel but will cold at night in the mountains.
∇ March and April are the warmest months and the more south you get, the more humid it becomes.
By plane: international flights fly into the capital Vientiane, Luang Prabang and occasionally Vang Vieng.
By bus: The easiest way to transfer between cities in Laos will be by bus. The roads are filled with pot holes and its not uncommon to have a road destroyed by a land slide especially in monsoon season. Buses are cheap and plentiful. Overnight trips are a doozy.
By tuk tuks or sawngthaews: Hire a driver to take you to places like Kuang Si Falls or the blue lagoon.
Moped: the best way to explore the country.
AVERAGE DAILY BUDGET
$40 a day, living comfortably and not denying yourself any comforts or pleasures.
A bed in a dorm room $3-7 dollars.
A basic room with private bath and a/ about $15-18 USD.
Budget luxury hotel will cost you $30 USD.
Luxury $40 & above.
Beer Lao -$1.25 or 15,000 KIP
Street food – 15,000-30,000 KIP
Sit down meal – 40,000 KIP
Happy pizza in Vang Vieng – 110,000 KIP
Laos travel guide travel tips
∇ Laos is a developing and emerging country. They are building new roads throughout the country but it is still a work in progress. Most bus rides will be on a bumpy road full of pot holes. It is what it is.
∇ Potholes means muddy roads and walkways when it is monsoon season.
∇ SIM cards are reasonably priced, a 5 Gig SIM card good up to 30 days a cost 70,000 KIP or $8.75 USD.
∇ ATM’s are widely available except in the 4,000 Islands so plan accordingly.
Safety is an important factor in planning any trip, espicially when it is international. Here are Laos travel guide safety tips.
∇ Loas is a safe country to travel to as a solo female traveler. Pickpocketing and thievery will be your biggest concern. As always use your wits and common sense.
∇ Pharmacies can be found in all major towns and cities. This is the best your going to get so if something major happens while traveling Laos then your best bet is to head to Thailand for better healthcare.
∇ You can find the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane.
∇ Travel insurance is very important. There is nothing worse than being in need of medical care in a foreign country without insurance! Protect yourself! This is your best investment.
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