Laos Travel Information -
Laos Travel Information
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Visas for Laos
Do I need a visa to enter Laos?
The simple answer is 'yes' you will need a visa to visit Laos.
Can I obtain my visa on arrival?
Travellers of most nationalities can obtain a 30 day tourist visa on arrival in Laos at Vientiane, Pakse and Luang Prabang international airports, and at most overland border points. The visa fee varies between US$30 to US$42 depending on your nationality, and 2 passport photos are required. Travellers of certain nationalities will need to aquire a visa in advance - please check with your Lao Embassy or Consulate for the latest information.
Be sure you have 6 months validity (from the date of your departure from Laos) remaining on your passport when you travel.
For further information consult our detailed Visa Information Sheet.
Climate & When to Travel
Laos has 3 seasons, as detailed below, and can easily be visited all year round with each season having its own advantages for travellers.
The cool season lasts from November to February, with low rainfall throughout the country. Temperatures are pleasantly cool, and even chilly at higher altitudes. This is the most popular time to visit Laos and consequently sights are busier and hotel prices at their highest.
Temperatures start to rise during March and April, with this being the hottest time of year, although rain is still quite rare. Photographers should note that as the dry season progresses increasing amounts of dust in the air can lead to poor visibility.
The green, or wet season runs from May to October. Rain is usually in the form of short downpours and the advantage of this time of year is clear views and lower numbers of visitors, with correspondingly lower hotel rates.
The national currency of Laos is the Kip, although in practise Thai Bhat and US Dollars can also be used for many (especially larger) transactions. When changing foreign currency to Kip, US Dollars are the most widely accepted although most major international currencies can also be exchanged in the larger cities.
Credit Cards and ATMs
ATMs can be found in many of the larger towns and cities offering cash withdrawals in Kip. Visa and MasterCard may also be used for cash advances at major banks in larger cities.
General Tips for Travelling in Laos
Never drink tap water - bottled water is cheap and widely available
Casual, light clothing is recommended all year-round
In winter a light sweater is advisable for travel in the north
A flashlight is useful for visiting caves and the interior of temples
If you take prescription medicine bring enough for your whole trip
An umbrella is extremely useful during green season!
Be sure to purchase adequate travel insurance before leaving home
Expect to pay between US$5 - US$20 for a meal in a restaurant
Check with your GP on recommended vaccinations for Laos
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