Laos

Travel tips

06/05/2013 16:31


Passports

To enter Laos, a passport valid for at least six months is required by all nationals. Travellers have been refused entry into Laos when holding passports with fewer than six months’ validity.
You may not always be required to show a return ticket if you are travelling overland. However, it is wise to procure an itinerary from a travel agent to avoid problems.


Visas

Nationals referred to in the table above can obtain a 30-day visa on arrival at road and river border crossings and ports of entry into Laos. Bring two passport-size photographs with you for the visa.
A one-month visit visa is available from embassies provided the applicant has a guarantor in Laos; you can extend visas for up to two further months.
Multiple-entry visas are only available from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Laos.
Be sure to get an entry stamp on arrival, and an exit stamp upon leaving – double-check the date stamps.

Visa note
Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Laos.

Types and cost
A visa on arrival costs approximately US$35, depending on your nationality. If you obtain a visa in advance, it costs around US$50, but again this varies according to nationality.


Validity

Visas are valid for one month.

Transit

A five-day transit visa is available for nationals transiting through Vientiane International Airport; nationals require proof of onward journey within five days.


Application to

Consulate (or consular section at embassy), or an officially recognised tour operator. You can also obtain visas from the Laos Embassy in Bangkok or from numerous travel agents on the Khao San Road in Bangkok. If you are in the UK you can apply to the Laos Embassy in Paris.

Sufficient funds

It’s unlikely that you will be asked to provide proof, but just in case bring your last few bank statements, tax returns or salary slips.

Extension of stay

You can extend your 30-day tourist visa up to an additional 60 days for a fee of US$2 per day through the Department of Immigration in Vientiane,. If you overstay you’ll have to pay US$10 a day on exit for every day over.


Entry with children

Adults travelling alone with children should be aware that they may be required to produce documentary evidence of parental responsibility before entering the country. Bring paperwork just in case.

Entry with pets

Laos requires a veterinary certificate for entry.

Food and Drink
All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled. Powdered or tinned milk is available and is advised. Avoid dairy products that are likely to have been made from unboiled milk. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Health Care
Any treatment must generally be paid for in cash. Health insurance is essential and should include cover for air evacuation.

Climate
Throughout most of the country, the climate is hot and tropical, with the rainy season between May and October when temperatures are at their highest. The dry season runs from November to April.

Required Clothing
Lightweights and rainwear, with warmer layers from October to March and upland areas.


Travel tips
Most visits are trouble free.
The threat from terrorism in Laos is low. However, travellers should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be in public areas, including places frequented by foreigners.

Travellers should be aware of and respect local conventions at all times.
Unexploded ordnance in rural areas is an ongoing danger.
Outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Laos have resulted in human fatalities, the last one of which was in 2007. As a precaution, travellers should avoid live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds is likely; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked. 
The Lao government prohibits sexual relationships between foreign citizens and Lao nationals except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao family law. Penalties for breaking these regulations can range from fines to imprisonment.
Penalties for illegal drug importation and use are severe and can include the death penalty.
It is illegal not to carry an ID document, and fines for not having one for presentation are high.



Hot deals
  • Glory Legend Cruise

    Trip type: Sharing Boat

    Departure: Daily from Hanoi

    Highlights: Halong Bay

    Glory Legend boats possess four types of rooms (total 17 cabins per boat) featuring stylish design and cosy amenities. Built for you to enjoy the majestic viewings offered by the natural environment during the cruise, Glory Legend cabins are heavenly windows onto the beauties of Halong Bay and engage to bring you the unforgetable Halong Bay trip ever.

  • North Vietnam Adventure

    Tour type: private tour

    Departure: daily

    Start from: Hanoi

    Highlights: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Sapa

    Northern Vietnam is a captivating blend of stunning landscapes, enchanting people and dynamic cities. Capture the spirit of the north in this quick-paced adventure from the delightful city of Hanoi to the amazing World Heritage Site of Halong Bay and to the hill station of Sapa. The tour offers a great opportunity to explore the unique culture and beautiful nature of northern Vietnam in an active way.

  • Vietnam Experience

    Tour type: private tour

    Departure: daily

    Start from: Hanoi or reverse

    Highlights: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Cuchi Tunnels

    This tour organized for travelers, who want to know the diversity of Vietnam. You will understand Vietnam with: Our history, Our literature, Our religious, Our beautiful nature...

  • Delightful cruise from Saigon to Phnom Penh on Toum Tiou

    Departure: from 23rd to 26th August 2017

    Highlights: Saigon, My Tho, Cai Be, Vinh Long, Sa Dec, Chau Doc, Vinh Xuong, Phnom Penh

    From the bustling Vietnamese capital to the erstwhile Paris of the East.

  • Vietnam Explorer

    Tour type: Private tour

    Departure: Daily

    Start from: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) or reverse

    Highlights: Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, HoiAn, Hue, Hanoi & Halong Bay

    Adventure through Vietnam on a highlights tour to experience the beauty, history, wonder, and grandeur of the country. On this custom tailored tour you will discover the breathtaking scenery of Ha Long Bay and the charismatic floating lanterns of Hoi An. From Saigon to Hanoi, the Imperial City of Hue to the labyrinth of tunnels at Cu Chi, the diversity of Vietnam is yours to enjoy, while the marvel is yours to explore.

  • Luxury MV Jayavarman Cruise from Saigon to Siem Reap

    Trip type: Sharing Boat

    Departure: from Saigon or Siem Reap

    Highlights: Saigon, CaiBe, VinhLong, CanTho, ChauDoc, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap

    The majestic Jayavarman is considered the father in Heritage Line’s “family” of cruise ships. This vessel was named after Angkor’s most venerated king, who ruled from 1181 to 1218, and was a devout Buddhist. King Jayavarman oversaw the construction of some of the most famous temples in Angkor, including Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and the unforgettable Bayon. Inspired by the serenity and artistry associated with this great Khmer monarch, The Jayavarman’s design was also influenced by the French cruise liner Normandie, which launched in 1935. Traveling between Saigon and Phnom Penh, the Jayavarman marries the art deco charm of 1930’s France with the romance of Indochine. Measuring 57.8 meters from bow to stern, the Jayavarman holds 27 elegantly decorated cabins. Thanks to its intricate woodcarvings, Khmer bas-reliefs and Vietnamese lacquer paintings, this impressive cruise ship resembles a floating art gallery. Wherever they look, guests are reminded of the local arts and culture. With three-and-a-half decks the Jayavarman is as spacious as it is beautiful. Guests can admire Khmer artifacts in the Henry Mouhot Lounge, mingle in the Club 1930 Bar, dine in the elegant Indochine Dining Hall, and recharge with spa treatments in the Apsara Spa. A Jacuzzi is located on the top sundeck, which offers spectacular views of the passing delta. Along with its peaceful beauty, the Mekong Delta is known for its friendly locals. The crewmembers of The Jayavarman are no exception. From the moment they board, guests are made to feel at home. Offering exceptional service, comfort and style, The Jayavarman is a name to remember. This beautiful vessel is an unforgettable means of exploring some of the finest scenery in Asia.