Why Laos?

In Laos you’ll discover a virginal landscape, wats alive with orange robed monks, peaceful riverside villages and friendly people. Tranquil, green and completely refreshing, Laos is one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. Those in the know compare Laos to Thailand 30 years ago;much of its land is still untainted and it has a relaxed, friendly vibe. Nowhere is this unhurried atmosphere more apparent than in the former royal capital, Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage city displaying ancient temples alive with monks as well as beautiful colonial architecture. Vientiane is perhaps Southeast Asia’s calmest capital, despite bearing evidence of a tumultuous history. Here, spend the morning viewing temples and the afternoon sipping a cool Beerlao before watching the sunset over the Mekong. Laos’ varied landscapes include the flat plains of the remote Bolovens Plateau, the Khone Phapheng Falls, the mysterious Plain of Jars and the dense forests of the north. The country is growing in popularity yet offers rugged natural landscapes and some of the most unspoilt areas to be found in modern Asia. One of the best ways to experience rural Laos is by heading south towards the border with Cambodia where you can enjoy a cruise on the Mekong River, gliding by ancient temples, lush countryside and traditional riverside villages. If you’re lucky, you might even see the elusive and captivating Ayeyarwady river dolphins.

Laos Journeys

Famous for its relaxed atmosphere, our Laos tours never fail 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.

Laos is a land of golden temples, majestic mountains and magnificent scenery. Why not take a cooking class to try your hand at Lao cuisine, or perhaps learn the art of traditional silk dying. Visit a bear sanctuary, ride high on an elephant or take a kayaking tour up the Mekong River. Caving, biking and trekking through this relatively untouched country will give you a glimpse of a disappearing traditional Asia.

Tourist Map of Laos
Capital : Vientiane
Time zone : GMT + 7 hours
Main Airports : Vientiane (VTE)
: Luang Prabang (LPQ)
: Pakse (PKZ)
Tourist visa : Visa On Arrival Available
Best time to travel
: November to February (Cool & Dry season)
: View Weather Chart
Currency (KIP)
: Laos Kip (1USD=8,000Kip
Health issues
: CDC Information

HIGHLIGHTS OF LAOS

Laung Prabang, Laos

LUANG PRABANG | The temples, palaces and elegant Lao-French villas of this leafy town crowd a peninsula in the Mekong – one of Southeast Asia’s undisputed gems.

Pak Beng Mekong River Cruise, Laos

RIVER CRUISING IN LAOS | Enjoy the otherworldly landscapes, monuments and ethnic minority villages of Laos from the comfort of teak-lined luxury cruisers.

Golden Pagoda, VIENTIANE,Laos

VIENTIANE | Plenty of French influence lingers in the diminutive capital of Laos, whose historic hub on the river holds a wealth of gleaming Buddhist shrines and world-class museums.

NONG KHIAW, Northern Laos

NONG KHIAW | This remote town on the Mekong River is set amid a spellbinding landscape of mountains and forest – perfect terrain for a range of outdoor activities, or merely gazing at the views.

PLAIN OF JARS, Laos

PLAIN OF JARS | The town of Phonsavan is the springboard for visits to this area of rolling grassland, scattered with mysterious stone jars carved in the Iron Age by a forgotten civilization.

WAT PHOU, Laos

WAT PHOU | A major pilgrimage site since pre-Angkorian Khmer times, this mighty temple spills down the flank of a sacred hill in the south of Laos, near the Mekong.

SI PHAN DON, The ‘4000 Islands’, Laos

SI PHAN DON | The ‘4000 Islands’ region of the far south comprises a uniquely beautiful landscape of sandy islets, where massive waterfalls herald the Mekong’s departure for neighbouring Cambodia.

MUANG LA, Laos

MUANG LA | Set on the floor of a valley beside a slow-flowing tributary of the Nam Phak, this sleepy village makes the ideal springboard for explorations of the surviving forest areas of northern Laos.

Meet The Monks, Laos

MEET THE MONKS | You’ll have to get up in the predawn darkness to catch one of Luang Prabang’s defining spectacles: the Tak Bat ritual. Go through this atmospheric ceremony – a great way to connect with Buddhist tradition.

The Golden Pagoda "Wat Pha That"

A Glimpse of Laos

4 Days / 3 Nights

A Glimpse of Laos allows you to witness the beautiful of this country. Discover the grandeur of Luang Prabang, UNESCO World Heritage Site and the capital of Vientiane, a mixture of Laos is a captivating journey… View More

The beautiful waterfalls of Khouang Sy

The Best of Luang Prabang

 4 Days / 3 Nights

This 4-day tour, the Best of Luang Prabang, offers you the best experience of Lao. You will discover the UNESCO listed of Luang Prabang,  rise early to offerings to the local monks and swim in the beautiful waterfalls of Khouang Sy…. View More

Khone Island in Laos

The Spirit of Laos

 8 Days / 7 Nights

The 8 days Spirit of Laos offers you an extensive adventure experience of Laos. Start from Luang Prabang, to the Laos’ capital Vientiane, venture deep discover the 4,000 Islands” and end with the pre-Angkorian Wat Phou… View More

VISA

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.

HOW TO GET THERE

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).

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.

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 (1USD = 8000 Kip).

LAO FOOD

Local food is available wherever you go in Laos, alternatively (particular in the main towns) you can choose from a wide range, including: Italian, French, Chinese, Indian, etc. If you don’t like too much ‘heat’ or spice in your food, just ask for ‘mild’ – no problem. You can try tamahung (papaya salad), fue (noodle soup with meat and vegetables), keng (meat or fish soup) usually heated at your table, or laap (Lao salad with minced meat or fish). There are plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. If you are feeling really adventurous you could try ant’s eggs, or grilled grasshoppers – but it’s not compulsory! It is recommended that visitors do not drink the local tap water, stick to bottled water which is available everywhere for a few kip.

DIALING CODE

+856

TIME ZONE

GMT/UTC +7 Hours

BEST TIME TO GO

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.

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.

FESTIVALS

February – Vietnamese Tet and Chinese New Year
Full moon in May – Rocket Festival (Bun Bang Fai) calling for rain
September- Boat races in river town in Luangprabang
October – Water Festival – boat races in river towns
November full moon – Bun Pha That Luang, week-long celebrations

LANGUAGE

The 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.

English / Lao
– Hello / Sa ba dee
– Thank you / Khop jai

The Nearby Destinations You May Also Like:

Cambodia - Kingdom Of Ancient Wonders
Myanmar - The Magic of Old Asia
Thailand - A World of Adventure
Vietnam - Country of Contrasts