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).
Embassies & Consulates
For a list of embassies and consulates in Vientiane and other cities, see EmbassyPages
Laos has basic healthcare. Precautionary measures like eating only well cooked food, drinking bottled water, staying hydrated, avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes and wearing protective clothing will help prevent most common ailments.
To find a hospital, see Google Maps Hospitals in Laos.
International direct dial is widely available. You can also purchase a local pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone.
Visa, Master Card and American Express are accepted only in larger hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops in the large cities (such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champasack).
Internet access is available in many hotels, guesthouses, and restaurants in big cities. Although internet cafes are often available in provincial capitals, it may be difficult to connect to the internet in some rural areas.
There are post offices in all provincial capitals. 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. Children provide good opportunities for opening communication with Lao people.
Refer to www.laoevisa.gov.la to obtain your e-visa online.
The Kip is the official currency of the Lao PDR and the following banknotes are currently in circulation: 500; 1,000; 2,000; 5,000; 10,000; 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Kip.
The best currencies to use when exchanging money are: US Dollars, Euros and Thai Baht. You can exchange your currency at the bank, airport, or at a foreign currency exchange office.
The national language is Lao, but English is commonly used in major tourist centers. Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai are also 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.
The time in Laos is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +7).
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.
Points of Entry
- Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital
- Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang Province
- Pakse International Airport in Champasak Province
- Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet Province
- Attapeu Province International Airport
Check before you go that your intended border is open to international tourists. Also note that not all borders provide visas on demand.
- Phongsaly Province (Lan Tuy, Yod Ou) – China (Meuang Kham).
- Luang Namtha Province (Boten) – China (Mohan)
- Xiangkok riverport on Mekong River in Luang Namtha Province
- Bokeo Province (Ban Meuang Mom) – Myanmar (Vang Pong)
- Bokeo Province (Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge IV) – Thaniland (Chiang Khong)
- Bokeo Province (Golden Triangles) – Thailand (Golden Triangles)
- Sayabouly Province (Kaenthao) – Thailand (Nakaxeng – Loei)
- Sayabouly Province (Phakeo) – Thailand (Phoudou)
- Sayabouly Province (Nam Ngeun) – Thailand (Houay Konl, Nan)
- Vientiane Capital (Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I ) – Thailand (Nong Khai)
- Vientiane Capital (Thanaleng, Hadxayfong ) – Thailand (Nong Khai)
- Bolikhomxay Province (Paksan) – Thailand (Beungkarn)
- Khammouane Province (Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge III) – Thailand (Nakhon Phanom)
- Savannakhet Province (Lao-Thai Friendship bridge II) – Thailand (Mukdahan
- Champasak Province (Vang Tao) – Thailand (Songmek)
- Phongsaly Province (Pang Hok) – Vietnam (Taichang Laichau)
- Houaphanh Province (Nam Souy) – Vietnam (Nameo)
- Xieng Khouang (Nonghaet) – Vietnam (Namkanh)
- Bolikhomxay Province (Nam Phao) – Vietnam (Cau Treo)
- Khammouane Province (Na Phao) – Vietnam (Cha Lo)
- Savannakhet Province (Daene Savanh) – Vietnam (Lao Bao)
- Salavan Province (Lalai) – Vietnam (Lalai)
- Attapeu Province (Phou Keua) – Vietnam (Kontoum)
- Champasak Province (Veunkham) – Cambodia (Dong kralor/Nong Nok Khian)