Religious beliefs should be respected. Lao people should not be
touched on the head. Handshaking is not that usual; Lao people
greet each other with their palms together and a slight bowing
of the head. Take care when discussing politics and related
subjects in conversation so as not to cause offence. Shorts or
revealing clothes are not always acceptable. It is a legal
requirment to carry an ID document or a passport, and fines for
not having one for presentation on demand can be high. The Lao
government prohibits sexual relationships, including sexual
foreign citizens and Lao nationals, except when the two parties
have been married in accordance with Lao family law. Penalties
for failing to register a relationship range from fines to
TRAVEL BY AIR
Travel by air is the most convenient means transportation
within Laos. Laos Aviation flies daily from Vientiane to Luang
Prabang, Savannakhet, Xieng Khouang, Pakse and Oudomsay.
Furthermore, there are several flights a week to Laung
Namtha,Sayabori, Houeixay, Sam Neua, Saravane, Lakxao,
Muangkhong and attapue. The latest information aboat flight
schedules and routes is avaible at the Laos viation Head office
in 2 Phangkham road, Vientiane,
TRAVEL BY ROAD
Laos has 18,135 km national road, 2,55km of which are
paved. The most importance road is route No 13 linking, which
runs north south from China to Cambodia. It links Pak Mong in
north with Hlong in the south passing though major urban areas
of Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet, Champassack. Accept
that, there are the road No.1 linked between Thailand and China,
No.8 and No.9 lined between Thailand and Vietnam.
TRAVEL BY BOAT
The Mekong River flows though 1,865 km of Laos. Although not
navigable in its entirety, it provides a natural means of
transportation over long stretches. In addition many tributary
rivers of the Mekong River such as the Nam ou, Nam Ngum, Se Don,
and others river are used for water transportation.
Climate and Clothing
Light-weight washable cotton or
cotton-blent clothes are suitable. A sweater or coat is needed
for the winter and in upland areas.
Customs and Immigration
A valid transit, tourist visit,
business, diplomatic, or service visa is required. All
foreigners may enter and depart Laos via Wattay Airport, or
Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, the Mekong border crossing with
A visa can now be obtained upon
arrival at the airport and other official entry points. However,
certain regulations are applied.
Medical and dental facilities are
mostly operated by the government. Private clinics and
pharmacies are available in the major cities. The International
Clinic is operated under the supervision of the Ministry of
Health, to accommodate foreigners and diplomats. Medicines from
France, USA, Russia, Thailand and China are widely available in
International telephone, fax,
telegraph and telex services are available at post offices,
hotels and business centers. Mobile phones are widely used.
Several radio stations broadcast
in Lao. The Lao National Radio carries news in English, French
and Thai. There are daily TV broadcasts, with two local
channels, Thai television and satellite reception.
Public transportation is by bus,
taxi and samlo (rickshaw). There are both metered and unmetered
taxi. No railroad is available in Laos. Lao Aviation, Thai
Airways International, Cambodia and Vietnam Airlines connect
Wattay Airport of Vientiane to Bangkok, Yangon, Hanoi, Hochiminh
City, Phnompenh and Kunming of China. Domestic flights shuttle
daily between Lao cities. Mittaphab Bridge across the Mekong to
Thailand opened in early 1994.
Local currency is called Kip. One
USD is worth approximately 2,450 kip (1998). Money can be
exchanged at banks, authorized shops, or hotels. Exchange rates
fluctuate everyday, though fluctuation is tiny.
Banque pour le Commerce Exterier
Lao, Sethathirath Bank, Nakornluang Bank, Joint Development
Bank, and Thai branch banks.
Traveler’s Checks and credit
cards can be used at major banks, some hotels, restaurants and
220 volts at 50 HZ
Major Events and Traditional
Lao New Year (Pimai)
International Labor Day
End of May
End of Buddhist Lent & Boat
Beginning of November
That Luang Festival
Lao’s National Day.