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Laos

  • Business hours

    Government offices are generally open from Monday to Friday / 08:00am – 12:00pm & 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Shop and private business offices open and close a bit later and usually stay open during lunchtime (normally starting from 11:30am to 1:30pm).
  • Cultural Differences

    There are major differences between Asian and Western culture so understanding about cultural differences is necessary when travelling. The more you learn and become aware of them, the better you will be able to cope as you go about your life and work in the Laos PDR. Despite global modernisation, much of Laos culture is still profoundly influenced by Buddhist thinking, attitudes and behaviour.  It is impossible to understand Lao culture without having at least a basic understanding of the Hinayana Buddhist tradition which came to the country from Cambodia over 450 years ago.
  • Cuisine, Special Dietary Requests and Drinking Water

    Laos’ cuisine is similar to that of Thailand and offers a variety of national dishes. Like all other Buddhist countries, vegetarian food is readily available in most restaurants.
    If you are a vegetarian, vegan, allergic to any foods or adhere to a special diet, please advise us prior to your trip so we can comply with your dietary requirements.
    It is not advisable to drink tap water in any South East Asian countries. Bottled water is recommended but do check the expiry date before opening it. Ice is widely used in Laos and it is produced with treated water
  • Climate

    Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons.
    • May – October: Rainy season
    • November – April: Dry season
    • March – April: Hottest months - temperatures can reach as high as 38°C/100F
    • December: Lowest temperatures around 15°C/59F
    The average temperature is between 25°C/77F and 30°C/84F
  • Notes when visiting Wats

    • Do not wear shorts or tank tops, have your shoulders covered.
    • Remove your hat when entering the ground of the Wats.
    • Remove your shoes before going into the vihara (Sanctuary).
    • If you sit down in front of the dais (the platform on which the Buddhas are placed), sit with your feet to the side rather than in the lotus position.
    • Never point your finger or the sole of your feet towards a person or a figure of the Buddha.
  • Post and Telecommunications

    • Telephone connections to the rest of the world are widely available, however they aren’t cheap.
    • Internet access is available in all major tourist places.
  • Tipping

    Tipping is a personal matter, and passengers are encouraged to tip an amount they find appropriate and based on the service performance. The following tipping is just some suggestions for your reference:
    • Meals (restaurants): average amount is $1
    • Bellboy: average amount is $1...
  • Money

    The official currency is Lao Kip. Kip is non-convertible outside of Laos, so you will need to bring US Dollars to exchange. US dollars are also widely accepted in bigger cities, particularly in restaurants. Please note that torn and old US dollar notes are not generally accepted in Laos. In areas located near the Thai border, the Thai currency, Baht, is also accepted...
  • Immunizations/Vaccinations

    Before travelling to Laos, it is important to ensure that you have adequate protection against diseases. About two months before your holiday, you should see you doctor for the advise whether you need vaccinations. Kinds of vaccinations will vary depending on the places you go as well. In Laos, there is a malaria risk in rural areas...
  • Health & Well-being

    Be aware that your health can be put at risk due to lack of effective medical treatment facilities and poor sanitation in Laos like elsewhere in South East Asia. Lack of pharmacies and hospitals in rural areas may push you into difficulties, so be sure to have any regular drugs along with you. 
    You had better to be the first to care of your health. So make sure that you have travel insurance for your trip. And also tell you doctors or local travel clinic before departure to make sure you are in good conditions for travelling.
  • Visa/Passports

    Visa to Laos can be obtained with a 30-day stay in advance or 15 to 45-day stay on arrival at road; river border crossings; ports of entry depending on your nationality. Be sure that your passport has at least six months validity, and that you have two passport-sized photographs with you for the visa. The visa cost is about 30-45$...
  • Travel Insurance (Compulsory)

    We shall do every possible things to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. However, compulsory travel insurance could solve some of unexpected problems. Thus, all guests are requested to purchase travel insurance prior to the trips. Travel insurance is your protector in case of trip cancelations, delays, medical emergencies, baggage loss or damage. It also gives you peace of mind for your trip.
  • Clothing And Suggested Packing List

    Personal clothing items, , and
    • Casual clothes and / or a jackets (depending on season; region you travel)
    • Toiletries
    • Medication
    • Insect Repellent
    • Sunscreen
    ...
  • Check List

    • Travel Insurance
    • Valid Passport (with at least 6 month validity) and visa (or two passport pictures plus 20US$ for visa on arrival)
    • Immunizations/Vaccinations
    • Foreign currency (US$) or ATM card
    • Flights tickets
    • Photocopy of passport either scanned into email account or separate from the original