Government offices are open from 08:30am-12:00pm, 01:00pm-04:00pm on Monday through Friday. Banks open from 08:30am-03:30pm on Monday-Friday, shops around 09:00am-06:00pm (holiday depends on each shop).
Visa is the most commonly accepted. Master Card and American Express are accepted in the big hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops in the large cities (such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champasack).
International direct dial is widely available. You can also purchase a local pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone.
The time in Laos is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +7).
The Kip is the official currency of the Lao PDR and the following bank notes are currently in circulation: 500; 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000; 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Kip.....
Internet access is available in many hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants in big cities. Although internet cafes are often available in provincial capitals, it is difficult to connect to the internet in rural areas.
POST & PARCELS
There are post offices in all provincial capitals where you can send letters and parcels to your home country. Both DHL and FedEx have offices in Vientiane.
TRAVEL WITH CHILDREN
Laos is a safe, quiet country with a lot to explore for both adults and children. Lao people love kids. If you bring children, you will have good opportunities communicating with Lao people.
24 hour electricity is available in all major population centers and many district capitals.
Laos has only basic healthcare. Precautionary measures like eating onely well cooked food, drinking bottled water, staying hydrated, avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes and wearing protective clothing will help prevent most common ailments.
The national language is Lao, but English is commonly used in major tourist centers. Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai are widely understood. French, German, Russian and a number of other European languages are also spoken by many educated Lao as many students received higher education in Europe during 1970’s-1990’s.
Laos generally enjoys a mild tropical climate, but it can get quite chilly in the cool season. Temperatures range from 10-40 degrees celsius in the Mekong Valley.