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Travel Information

Travel-Info

You can get to Laos by land, air and river from Cambodia, China, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam. Airlines flying to Laos include Bangkok AirwaysThaiViet Nam Airlines,  Lao Central Airlines and Lao Airlines.

Laos International Airports:
Wattay International Airport - Vientiane.
Luang Prabang International Airport - Luang Prabang.
Pakse International Airport - Champasack.
Savannakhet Airport - Savannakhet.

Many Tour and Bus companies schedule services to and from Laos, and some include boat travel from Thailand to Laos.

Visitors need a passport with at least six months validity. 
Thirty-day visas are available from Lao Embassies and Consulates. Visa holders can enter Laos from Cambodia at Veun Kham.
A 30-day visa on arrival may be obtained by most passport holders at international border crossings. Who can get Visa on arrival?

Border Crossings:

Botene in Luang Namtha ~ Laos-China
Na Meo in Houaphan ~ Laos-Vietnam
Namkhan in Xieng Khouang ~ Laos-Vietnam
Nam Phao in Bolikhamxai ~ Laos-Vietnam
Na Phao in Khammouane ~ Laos-Vietnam
Dene Savan ~ Laos-Vietnam
Thakhaek in Khammouane ~ Laos-Thailand
Houeisai in Bokeo ~ Laos-Thailand
Dan Savanh in Savannakhet ~ Laos-Thailand
Vang Tao in Champassak ~ Laos-Thailand

A note from our users - Foreigners (non-Thais or Laotians [non-Laotians?]) are not allowed to use the ferry across from Mukdahan to Savannakhet. Must use the Friendship 2 bridge.

Most travel in Laos is uneventful, however a large proportion of the roading is un-paved and some is usually damaged in the wet season. This can lead to delays in bus and car travel. The more remote stretches of road can require four wheel drive vehicles. North-South and East-West roads are sealed, There is regular bus service to all provincial and district capitals.

Domestic air services are usually reliable though flights have been known to be cancelled abruptly.

River travel is often taken in the company of local residents and depending on the traveller's comfort level with water, can be rewarding or worrying in equal measures. A ferry service is available at Houeixai (Bokeo), Thakhaek (Khammouane) or Dan Savanh (Savannakhet). It's a short ferry ride across the Mekong River to  Laos.

Crossing from Chiang Khong in northern Thailand to Houeixai, it is possible to travel directly to Luang Prabang on the Mekong. Heading north to Luang Namtha is a two-day journey on the Namtha River, passing through forest and an overnight stop.

There is a boat service on the Mekong, from Pakse to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Vat Phou, through the Four Thousand Islands.

Road rules do exist in Laos. The vast majority of drivers, ride 'motos', 100~125cc scooters or motorbikes and have no license or any form of training. Cars and trucks have similar drivers. Nominally, vehicles drive on the right of the road, traffic lights are to be obeyed and seat belts or helmets are worn. In practise it's a free for all. Unless there's a policeman in attendance. Motos, especially, will drive where they will, traffic lights will be ignored on a whim, no-one wears seatbelts and whilst it appears a lot of moto drivers are wearing helmets for safety, its for protection from the sun, the chin-straps are not used and the helmets come off after dark.

This can be harrowing for a Western trained driver. One saving grace is that in the cities, everyone travels at 20~30 km/h, so whilst accidents do happen, they are not usually fatal. On the open road, everyone will want to overtake everyone and opposing traffic will flash their headlights as a signal for you to get out of the way, into a ditch if neccessary. Care must be taken if renting a car or driving a private vehicle.


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An Adventure

Elephants

Elephants, Laos was once known as the land of a million Elephants. Once these majestic animals were the mainstay of travelling, hauling long distance and logging. Even as recently as the Vietnam...

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Cave

Caves in Laos are some of the most extensive limestone cave systems in Asia. Vang Vieng, is famous for karst mountains and caves. Konglor Cave in central Laos' Khammouane Province is one of...

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Climbing

Climbing is a fairly new activity in Laos. So far, the only officially opened areas for climbing are in Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. With the spectacular limestone landscape in Vang Vieng, north...

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Ethnic

Ethnic groups in Lao are diverse and interesting. Villages outside of the main centres differ widely from one another, in culture, craft, language and custom. There are many minority culture spread across Laos...

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Cycling

Cycling is a great, way to get around Laos. The main roads North and South and East and West are paved. The subsidiary and rural roads are more suitable for Mountain Bikes...

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Lao Clams

Lao Stir Fried clams 1 1/2 lbs clams, with shells2 garlic cloves2 hot chilies1 tablespoon fish sauce1 tablespoon sugar1 tablespoon oyster sauce1 tablespoon oil10 basil leaves1/4 cup water Soak clams for two...

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Tam Mahk Houng

Tam Mahk Houng - Lao Papaya Spicy Salad 2 cups shredded papayas1 garlic clove4 chilies1 tablespoon shrimp paste1/4 tablespoon crab, paste1 tablespoon fish sauce1 scant teaspoon msg (optional)1 tablespoon fermented fish...

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Chicken Lahp

Chicken lahp with vegetables and variations - lahp gai pak gap Ingredients for a Lao raw or cooked meat lahp are extremely variable reflecting a cuisine which is prepared with whatever...

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Buffalo Skin Snacks

If, like me, you've wondered what the strips of dried animal hide, being sold at markets and by the side of the road, are for... They are dried Buffalo Hide...

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Tom and Gaeng

Tom and Gaeng - soups, There are tom and there are gaeng, both are ‘soups’ in English whereby gaeng is misleadingly translated into ‘curry’. Tom - “to boil” or “boiled” - are...

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Tree Top Explorer Jungle Hotel

Located inside a valley basin of the Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area, the Jungle Hotel Paksong is actually a tiny village in the midst of dense forest and surrounded...

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19th Century Photos

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19th Century Photos

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19th Century Photos

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Attractions

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Adventure

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National Protected Areas

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  • Attractions
  • Adventure
  • National Protected Areas
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Tam Mahk Houng

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Chili Dips

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Gaeng Bawt

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  • Tam Mahk Houng
  • Chili Dips
  • Gaeng Bawt

Popular Attractions

Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang (Lao: ພຣະທາດຫຼວງ, IPA: [pʰā tʰâːt lwǎːŋ] 'Great Stupa') is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane, Laos. Since its initial establishment, suggested to be...

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Royal Palace Luang Prabang

The Royal Palace (official name "Haw Kham") in Luang Prabang, Laos, was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. The site for...

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Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars (Lao: ທົ່ງໄຫຫິນ [tʰōŋ hǎj hǐn]) is a megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. Scattered in the landscape of the Xieng Khouang plateau, Xieng Khouang, Lao PDR, are...

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Patuxai

Patuxai (Lao: ປະຕູໄຊ, literally meaning Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph, formerly the Anousavary or Anosavari Monument, known by the French as Monument Aux Morts) is a war monument in...

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Wat Phou

Vat Phou or Wat Phu (Lao: ວັດພູ [wāt pʰúː] temple-mountain) is a ruined Khmer temple complex in southern Laos. It is located at the base of mount Phu Kao, some...

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 Elephant Conservation Center logo

 Elephant Conservation Center

The Elephant Conservation Center hosts Laos' first hospital dedicated to elephants that are victims of logging accidents or affected by diseases. The center is staffed with an international team of elephant vets and offers free veterinary care services, an emergency unit, a breeding center, a mahout vocational center and the most extensive elephant information center in country. 
Click here to visit the Elephant Conservation Centre

foundation

This organisation was set up by a former fire-fighter and nurse who worked for the Red Cross on emergency assistance. He gathered around him a team of 34 dedicated people from Lao and trained them in first aid. It is registered under the Lao Foundation to assist the poor and was established in 2006.

Exo Foundation

Choice Hotels Laos

Selected Hotels, Resorts, Ecolodges and Cruises, each destination is a tourist attraction in its own right. The Individualist’s Guide to Discover Laos along National Route 13 from China to Cambodia coordinated...

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Hands

We liked the Elephant Trekking in Champasak and the shopping in the Pakse markets. J&S Gentner.
F. White.