Laos is a South East Asian country located between Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, yet remains untainted by mass tourism. Taking a tour through Laos is like visiting one of its neighbouring countries 20 years ago; stilted houses scatter the rural landscapes and saffron clad monks stride through the streets of Luang Prabang each morning collecting alms. Our small group tours to Laos will take you to the main highlights of this sleepy Asian country including the capital Vientiane, the magical temple infused town of Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng with its jaw dropping natural landscapes.
Everybody loves a few travel facts and our Laos Travel Snapshot gives you a brief idea of what to expect when planning a holiday to Laos. Read on below as we expand on our travel bites…
Best Time To Travel – The best time to travel to Laos is between October and April. During these months the weather is dry and warm with cool nights. The rainy season begins from June through August and humidity can sore!
Capital City – The capital of Laos is Vientiane. The city lies on the bank of the Mekong River and borders Thailand. The population of Vientiane is just under 200,000.
Currency – The national currency in Laos is the Laotian Kip. The approximate exchange is $1 = 9500 Kip (LAK). Please make sure you have cash with you while on tour as not all hotels have credit card facilities. You will be able to withdraw cash in Vientiane. Our guides can help you source a money exchange or take you to an ATM while on tour in Laos.
Approximate Travel Time – 20-24 hours. There are no direct flights to Laos. Most airlines fly into Vientiane via another hub in Asia such as Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or Singapore. Our Laos tours start in Vientiane, or in Vietnam if Laos is part of a multi-country itinerary.
Religion – 65% of people living in Laos are Theravada Buddhists. The remaining 35% belong to approximately 48 distinct ethnic groups. Most of which practise Laotian Folk Religion with varied beliefs between different groups.
Famous Dish – When visiting Laos you will come across their national staple: sticky rice. It is a glutinous rice with a very low amylose content, which becomes especially sticky when cooked. Sticky rice is eaten by hand and also used as a utensil to scoop up other foods. Typically, people give sticky rice to monks when they collect their daily alms. As sticky rice takes longer to digest, it keeps the monks fuller for longer.
Visa Required – Yes. A tourist visa is required for United States Citizens. It can be applied for online and costs approx. $35 USD (although this is subject to change)
Fitness Level – We rate our Laos tours as requiring moderate-high fitness level. Some of our itineraries include activities such a cycling and kayaking which may require a higher level of fitness. However, these are optional if you don’t want to take part. You need to be fully mobile to walk around monuments on sightseeing tours.