Situated in the heart of the Indochinese Peninsula, landlocked Laos is known as “The Land of a Million Elephants”. Whereas neighbouring Thailand is now an international travel destination, Laos remains a sleepy backwater, a land of many subtle charms, that awaits to enchant the lucky visitor. With an area of 91,000 square miles and a population of 4 million, making it one of the least heavily populated countries in Southeast Asia. In the far north, the country borders China (Yunnan province) while its north-eastern and eastern borders are shared with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. In the South, Laos borders Kampuchea (Cambodia) while in the West it shares the natural river boundary of the Mekong with Thailand, and in the far northwest, with a small portion of Burma (the area known as the Golden Triangle). The capital city is Vientiane.
The topography of Laos is dominated by rugged jungle-clad mountains that are the abode of the highland cultures - the Lao Theung and the Lao Suong (Highland Lao and Mountaintop Lao respectively). These highland people are related to the hill tribe cultures of Thailand, Burma and China’s Yunnan province. The two leading tribal groups are the Meo and the Yao. They engage in a slash and burn form of agriculture growing such cash crops as corn, vegetable, and, on a reduced scale, opium poppy. The lowland inhabitants (Lao Loum), which comprise 66% of Laos’ total population, are devout Buddhists. Over 90% of the lowland culture is engaged in paddy field cultivation which was introduced to Southeast Asia in the late Neolithic period, some 4,000 - 5,000 years ago.
Laos has a tropical monsoon climate that is marked by relatively large extremes in temperature. Its landlocked location and rugged topography influence its climate, which tends to be both warmer and cooler that its maritime neighbours, Vietnam, Kampuchea and Thailand.
The Rainy Season : which generally lasts from May through September. Heavy showers occur almost daily and monthly rainfall totals an average of 10 - 12 inches. Temperatures are uniformly hot, with daytime highs reaching the low 30s C. (86 - 90 F) and nights a muggy, warm 24 °C. (75 F).
The Cool Dry Season : After the end of the rains, the weather dry and cooler. The most pronounced period for these ideal travel conditions lasts from November through early March. Days are clear and warm with maximum reading in Vientiane reaching 28°C., and dropping to a refreshing 18°C. at night. There are occasional outbreaks for a cool air that sweep down from China (a result for the Siberian High pressure System that controls China’s winter weather), and during these periods (most notably from late December through the end of February) the temperature can drop below 10°C. (50 F).
The Hot Season: the months immediately preceding the rainy season, (March through May), are the hottest of the year. As the monsoon builds the temperatures in the lowlands of central Laos (Vientiane) can climb up to 38°C. (100 F.) during the day. Nights become increasingly more uncomfortable with temperatures remaining above 20°C. (70 F.).
For weather information, please visit: http://www.climate-zone.com/climate/laos/
V ISA – LANDING normal tourist visa valid for 30 days
You can apply Laos visa here in Hong Kong for 4 working days with TWO photos
Note: Additional ONE USD per person on arrival during WEEKENDS or HOLIDAY
Landing visa – USD30 + TWO photo for the following passport holders
French, German, New Zealand, Australian, Korean ( South ), Hongkong SAR, Taiwan & Bhutan.
Landing visa – USD35 + TWO photo for the following passport holders
Italian, Austrian, British, Belgium, Danish, Greece, Irish, Iceland, Norway, Portuguese, Spanish, Sweden & USA.
Landing visa – USD40 + TWO photo for the following passport holders
Landing visa – USD42 + TWO photo for the following passport holders
Landing visa – USD50 + TWO photo for the following passport holder
Landing visa – USD20 + TWO photo for the following passport holder
Note: Holiday & Sunday would have surcharge of 1 USD more per person for visa fee
It’s absolutely essential to have adequate travel insurance covered, especially for the purposes of flight cancellation or delay, as it often happen due to weather condition.
Take the travel insurance that meets your needs and understand its coverage.
The electric current in Laos is 220 Volts. It is strongly advised to bring an adapter with you.
“Makphet” in VIENTIANE
“Khaiphaen” in LUANG PRABANG
Dine at the 2 restaurants in Laos to try its tasty menu and nice environment.
These restaurants are under the TREE Alliance Group. As per Tree Alliance – the TREE restaurants are based upon a highly successful model of social business which provided not only positive beneficiary impact but also customer satisfaction and enhanced sustainability for the organization. All profits from TREE restaurants are invested on providing training and the social programs to support the former street children or other marginalized young people to becoming a skillful, productive and happy young person with a better future.
CLOTHING : WHAT TO WEAR
Light casual wear is best for Laos, as the weather and general economic conditions influence dress. The lowlands are generally warm year round, so there is no need to wear heavy clothes except during the infrequent cool spell that may affect the lowlands in December or January. Breathable, easily-washed cottons or mixed blends are best.
Laos is a poor country, so it is not advisable to overdress. Restaurants in Vientiane do not have any dress restrictions. As the Laotians are steeped in a Buddhist tradition, some consideration to modesty in dress is advisable. Women should refrain from wearing short pants.
Trousers, T-shirts, light blouses or dresses will be perfect. Also take some light and comfortable walking shoes. Laundry might be questionable while in Laos, so nothing fragile, and take the necessary supplies!
Do not forget to take some sun cream, and some eye drops if you are sensitive to the sun.
WHAT TO BRING
Due to the tropical weather, hat, sunglasses and sun cream are strongly recommended. Also suggest to carry a small lightweight flash light, with spare batteries (always useful in a country where electricity supply can be...erratic sometimes!).
Travelling in Laos can be demanding. Anyone with a history of serious medical problems should not contemplate travelling. If you are using prescribed medicine and your personal physician says you are fit to travel, be sure that you carry a sufficient supply of all prescription drugs - enough to last you the duration of your stay in Laos, until you return home. While no inoculations are necessary, it is strongly advised that you consult your personal physician about vaccinations against cholera, typhoid, polio, tetanus, as well as taking anti - malaria tablets. A gamma globulin injection against hepatitis might also be useful.
It is advisable to carry a few basic remedies with you. For tummy troubles, IMMODIUM, for cuts and blisters, a tube of antiseptic cream or antiseptic towelettes (available at Watson’s). Of course, bring aspirin, simple dressings, some water purifying tablets, anti-mosquito stick or aerosol, and a mild laxative.
The official unit if currency in Laos is the KIP. Denomination paper notes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Kip are in circulation. US $ notes and Thai Baht are accepted both in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Suggested to bring US dollars in cash ( avoid travellers cheques in Laos ), carry some small notes (1, 2, 5 dollars bills for your small purchases ) and big ones ( 50, 100 $ bills ). US dollars are accepted by all shops or restaurants in Laos. Credit cards like VISA, MASTER and AMERICAN EXPRESS are accepted by hotels or big restaurants; however most of shops are not accept credit cards.
It is the passengers responsibility to obtain all required travel documents, visas and permits, and for complying with the laws, regulations, orders, demands and other travel requirements of countries of origin, destination or transit.
We strongly recommend that you go to the IATA Travel Centre website http://www.iatatravelcentre.com for more information.
Tipping is considered as part of your guide’s income and depending on how satisfied you are with their service. Suggested US$ 3 per person per day travelling with a group and US$6 per person per day tipping for driver and the local guide(s) by travelling in a private tour.
YOUR TOUR ARRANGEMENTS
All land arrangements within Laos are solely at the discretion of our land operators who control the final scheduling of sightseeing programs based on current situation of the day or period like weather, traffic condition etc…….
Those situations are not under our control and cannot be held responsible for sudden changes.
Terms & Conditions are based on our website : www.F56.com/Terms&Conditions.pdf
Dining in Laos is a rather unexpected surprise - tasty, simple fare that, while not the culinary experience that the traveller can experience in Bangkok, is plentiful and available at a number of eating outlets. Another factor that makes dining in Laos rather unique is the availability of good French food - a legacy of the country’s colonial past.
Lao whisky (Lao Lao), a rice liquor, similar to the Thai Mekong Whisky, is available in most restaurants and bars. Locally brewed beers and soft drinks are also available. Most restaurants and bars do also carry a limited supply of imported wines, beers and soft drinks.
Health information for traveling ( For travellers from Hongkong )
OUTBOUND TRAVEL ALERT ( For travellers from Hongkong )
If you are traveling from Hongkong and would like to know more about the outbound
Travel alert please explore the website: http://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota/
If you are a Hongkong Resident holding a valid HKID card and have register a MyGovHK account,
you can use the ROTI which is free of charge. Or explore the website to register.