Laos Quick Guide

A Laos Travel Guide will show you how to get around the most important cities in Laos. It is also possible to take part in all the activities that make Laos a popular destination in Southeast Asia. Here's a brief overview of this fascinating country.

Laos is a Southeast Asian country trudging the beautiful Mekong River, which gives it the most magnificent scenery on earth. Vientiane is the capital city, and is a site of the famous That Luang bridge, which is the site of a reliquary containing the Buddha's breastbone. The former capital, Toursou, is also famous for its pagodas and for being the location of the first Cham ethnic group settlement, from whom modern Laos got its name. Phnom Phen, in the southwest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main aspects of Laos travel and tourism include hill tribes, river rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding and delicious street food. The unique aspect of Laos is that there are no national religions, thus making for an exceptionally multi-cultural country. Laos has a diverse geography, which gave rise to a number of diverse cultures. It has a tropical wet and dry climate. You will hear different languages in Laos, however, most travelers are able to communicate perfectly in Thai, Chinese, German and English.

Food in Laos is renowned for its flavorful and unique blend of spices. A typical meal in Laos will consist of noodles and meat such as beef, lamb, duck, horse or chicken. There is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, including mangoes, papaya, lemons and carrots. Your Laos travel guide or your local guide should be able to give you a full list of high quality street food that can be found throughout Laos.

An interesting thing to note about Laos is that it is surrounded by numerous mountains and plateaus. These mountains range in difficulty from mild to extreme. Most tourists visiting Laos just want to visit the city of Phnom Phen, however, there are many other places of interest all around laoangsphid. There are caves in the hills, and this is where the royal family who lived in the region used to live, before retiring to a far away place.

Phu Si is the capital of Laos and is famous for its beautiful scenery and historic buildings. If you like to do some trekking, you can hire a guide and go to the forest villages around Lanto, which are some of the most remote areas in Laos. While you are there you should try and check out the traditional Tham Ting Cave. This famous cave is popular with all tourists, but it is closed to outsiders at times. It is possible to get a guided tour through it, but it can be expensive and not everyone can afford it. If you are there at the right time, you might even be able to watch the re-opening of a Chinese temple as it is done by Thai workers from Phu Si, who is in charge of the re-opening.

Phu Si is one of the most beautiful places in Laos and has a lot to offer to its visitors. It is full of rich culture and there are a lot of things to do. One popular activity that you can enjoy here is rafting down the Lao-Tse River. If you are not into rafting but still want to experience the scenic beauty that this place offers, you can try one of the outdoor activities available here such as trekking, hot air ballooning, hiking and scuba diving. All of these outdoor activities are very cheap in Llao.

When you are done with your outdoor activities, there are still a few more things that you can do. One of these things is enjoying the street food in Llao. The street food in Llao is unique because of the mixture of different flavors. Although you can get a fancy restaurant if you want, it would be better if you could just go to the street vendor and enjoy the fresh and tasty food that they serve.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to Laos are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

When is the best time to visit Laos? The small, landlocked country of Laos is best visited between October and April, when the weather's warm and dry throughout.

Do I need a Visa?

The Laotian Government requires British passport holders to have a visa for entry into Laos and the easiest way to do this is apply for your visa on arrival in the country. You will need US$35 in cash and two recent passport photos for a single entry visa. Visas are issued for a stay of 30 days.

See which forms you may need for entry into Laos.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in Laos you can grab amazing Lao Kip deals via (GBP to LAK).

What about the wildlife?

Asian elephant, pot bellied pig, tiger, sun bear, leopard cat, rhinoceros, kouprey, sun bear, gaur, giant flying squirrel and the newly documented saola. 5 species of gibbon, 4 species of primates, and 5 species of macaque are found here and over 740 species of birds have been recorded in Laos.

What is the traditional food?

Vietnamese food? Laap, the national dish of Laos. Many of the standard dishes served around Laos are adaptations from Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese food.

What Languages are spoken?

Vientiane Lao is the dialect which is widely understood and upon which the Laovocabulary is based. Several languages used in Laos and Thailand are closely related to Lao such as Tai Daeng, Phu Thai, Tai Dam, and Nyaw. You can learn some basic Vietnamese before you travel to Laos and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in Laos is the Lao Kip (In most places in Laos, tipping is not expected though as always it is appreciated. If you want to tip, 10% percent is pretty generous.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 191
  • Ambulance: 195
  • Fire: 190
  • UK Embassy: +856 30 77 00 000

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is 7 hours

Travel Apps

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Learn Vietnamese

Learn some Vietnamese before your trip to Laos

Laos Guidebook

Stay informed before, during and after your trip to Laos by buying a guidebook.