It’s not the elephants, nor the Buddhas, nor the golden stupas that makes Laos so attractive – it has to be the smiles from its people.
Laos may be one of the least visited South East Asian getaways, but it lacks none of the region’s charm. The twisting Mekong River offers more than just a ride through lush landscapes, but a livelihood for much of the country. In Laos, monuments to Buddha are ubiquitous, with whole caves and parks devoted to these statues. And with icons such as the glittering Pha That Luang temple and the majestic arch of the Patuxai, Laos is one destination that won’t disappoint.
Laos travel highlights
Cruise down the Mekong River
This enormous river and its tributaries nourish five countries in South East Asia. Take a slow boat and enjoy the stunning surrounds.
Drink wine with the locals at Bang Sang Hai
The villagers in this region are famous for producing the potent rice-wine used in Lao cooking.
Witness a traditional Alms Giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang
Every morning at sunrise, saffron-robed monks walk through the streets of this World Heritage-listed town, collecting Buddhist offerings of rice, fruit and sweets from local residents.
Our Laos trips
Articles on Laos
Laos holiday information
Local culture of Laos
Geography & environment
Shopping guide to Laos
Laos festival calendar
Food & drink in Laos
Laos travel FAQs
- Australia: Yes - on arrival
- Belgium: Yes - on arrival
- Canada: Yes - on arrival
- Germany Yes - on arrival
- Ireland: Yes - on arrival
- Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
- New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
- South Africa: Yes - on arrival
- Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
- United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
- USA: Yes - on arrival
We ask all our travellers to obtain their Laos visas at the border, and NOT in their home country. Your tour leader will assist you in obtaining a Laos visa, generally at the border, depending on the current state of affairs, as it can vary.
Please ensure that you have at least 1 passport photos and up to US$60 cash (this may vary too) to fulfil the requirements. There will also be an Immigration Fee of USD1. To assist us in processing your Laos visas, please provide your agent with accurate passport details prior to the departure of your trip as these details will be passed on to our leader.
When crossing the border you will most likely see a lesser entry fee than what you have paid. This is due to the leader having to use a local agent to process the visa which allows the group to cross the border as quickly as possible.
Tipping is not a strong custom but it is becoming more common in Laos due to the very low wages of the locals. Most people round up their bills when at restaurants and tip for other services when they’ve been particularly good.
You’ll find internet in the capital and major cities but generally not outside of these areas.
Laos has good mobile phone coverage in major cities and urban areas, but service is unreliable outside of these places. Remember to activate global roaming with your provider if you wish to use your mobile while traveling.
Most toilets in Laos are squat toilets but you’ll find western style toilets at some hotels and tourist establishments. Soap and toilet paper aren’t always provided so you may like to carry some with you.
- Market snack = 7,000 LAK
- Large bottle of beer = 9,000 LAK
- Budget restaurant meal = 23,000 LAK
- High-end restaurant meal = 55,000 LAK
Drinking tap water is not considered safe in Laos. For environmental reasons, avoid buying bottled water and bring a bottle or canteen with you. Ask your leader where you can access filters to refill your supply, or carry your own purification tablets with you.
You’ll be able to use your credit card in places like hotels and large restaurants but most local businesses rely solely on cash.
Laos has plenty of ATMS in large cities but fewer outside of these areas. Carry cash if you wish to make purchases in small villages and rural areas.
Yes. All peregrine passengers are required to purchase travel insurance prior to their trip. Your insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day.
For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Laos/public-holidays