In this article, we will provide you with general information and a useful Laos travel guide.

General Information

  • Location: Southeast Asia
  • Capital: Vientiane
  • Currency: Kips (LAK)
  • Main religion: Buddhism
  • Official language: Laotian
  • Time zone: +7
  • Principal ethnic groups: Laos, Khmu, Hmong
  • Population: approximately 7 million (2022)
Map of Laos

Map of Laos

About Laos

Laos, also known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (of Laos), is one of Indochina’s most mysterious countries. The history of Laos can be traced back to the 14th century when a Lao prince named Fa Ngum founded the kingdom of Lan Xang (million elephants). Laos has long been a closed country with difficult access due to its turbulent history and geographical location. Indeed, this country has long been a little-known territory, being landlocked in the middle of the continent, bordered by Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar, and lacking direct access to the ocean.

Like many Southeast Asian countries, the country’s main religion is Buddhism. Almost 70% of the population is Buddhist, almost 30% is Animist and less than 3% is Christian or Muslim. If you are planning a trip to Laos, the Laos travel guide on religion in this article will be helpful.

Today, although still surrounded by its powerful neighbors, this country is opening up to the rest of the world and is making a place for itself among its peers because it fascinates more and more travelers, who are thirsty for authenticity, discovery, and adventure. Thousands of years of culture and traditions preserved from mass tourism offer visitors privileged moments, unforgettable encounters, original activities, and breathtaking landscapes. 

Laos is an ideal destination if you wish to live a unique experience in a country where traditions and cults have remained frozen in time, where the vestiges of the French presence still resonate like a distant echo through the games of pétanque or the smells of bakeries. Friendly residents will welcome you to this kingdom of elephants, oversized Buddha statues, and majestic temples.

Want to know more about Laos? The following details in the article Laos travel guide will surely help you.

Entry visa to Laos

The most useful and essential Lao travel guide is how to legally enter the country. All visitors to Laos must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of their arrival.

A visa on arrival can be obtained at international checkpoints such as border posts (between Laos and Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Cambodia) or international airports in Laos.

Visitors should prepare 2 passport photos and USD cash for the visa stamp (depending on the length of stay and number of entries).

Those who want to stay longer can do so by extending their visa at the Foreigners Office in Vientiane. If you apply before the expiration date, it costs $2 per day. However, if your visa expires, you will be fined $10 USD per day for overstaying.

*Note: On weekends or Lao public holidays, as well as before 8:00 and after 4:00 p.m., overtime will be charged at an additional US dollar fee ($1).

Laos weather & the best time to visit

Weather is one of the most important things to keep in mind when traveling to Laos. In the article Laos travel guide, we will provide you with the most useful information about the weather and climate in Laos.

Laos Weather

Laos Weather

Laos has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season, which lasts from November to May, and the rainy season, which lasts from June to October. The average annual temperature is around 28°C, with a maximum temperature of 38°C.

If you visit during the rainy season, prepare for heavy and frequent tropical rains, particularly in July and August. Laos sees more tourists during the “high tourist season” from November to February when the rainfall is lower and the temperature is only 22°C.

The cool dry season, which lasts from October to February, is the best time to visit Laos. The average temperature during this time is 21-24 degrees Celsius (68-76 degrees Fahrenheit), the humidity is low, and the night is cool. Another advantage is that the rivers are high enough during this time period to allow for easy and flexible river travel. However, because this is the most popular time of year for tourists to visit the country. As a result, all services are more expensive. You should reserve to ensure service availability.

Tip for your trip to Laos


– The Laos Kip is the country’s official currency (LAK). You can also use the kip, Thai baht (THB), and US dollar (USD) in Laos. Most businesses in major cities accept baht and US dollars, including hotels, restaurants, and tourist shops.

– You can exchange money at airports and major cities.

– Credit card: Visa and Master cards are accepted at many hotels, high-end restaurants, and souvenir shops in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Credit cards are almost useless outside of these three cities, especially in mountainous areas.

– ATMs: ATMs are only available in major cities and can only be used once to withdraw a maximum of 700,000 kips (approximately $70), with each withdrawal incurring a $2 fee.

Laos currency

Laos currency


The voltage in Laos is 230 V, and the frequency is 50 Hz. The outlets are 2-pin, round or flat.

Laos Transportation

As you know, Laos has a limited supply of transportation. Therefore, it’s necessary for visitors to read the Laos travel guide on how to move safely and quickly.

Tuk-tuk (three-wheeled cars) and taxis are the two main modes of transportation in Laos. Because there are fewer vehicles outside of the major cities, visitors to Laos can book a rental car with a driver provided and operated by local tour operators.

Travel around in Tuk-tuk

Travel around in Tuk-tuk

Because many routes are still under construction, the railroad is not a popular mode of transportation in Laos. Domestic flights to smaller airports in the country are frequently canceled due to fog, so travelers should confirm their flights one or two days before departure.


You must follow specific rules when visiting Buddhist sites:

  • Dress conservatively, with your shoulders and legs covered.
  • Before entering a pagoda, remove your shoes and hat.
  • When conversing with monks, keep your distance.
  • Make no noise in sacred places.

Destinations to visit & Activities to do

Laos is an appealing destination with numerous religious sites, unspoiled natural landscapes, islands, caves, and waterfalls located throughout the country that are valuable gifts for nature lovers.

Luang Prabang (Laos)

In 1995, UNESCO designated Luang Prabang, in northern Laos, as a World Heritage Site. Luang Prabang was the country’s ancient capital from the 14th to the 16th centuries, and again in the 19th century. The Royal Palace is the city’s most popular attraction. Luang Prabang has a variety of places to visit, including the impressive Kuang Si Waterfall (the largest waterfall in the region), the impressive Pak Ou Caves, the lively night market, and the mountains Phosi.

Luang Prabang (Laos)

Luang Prabang (Laos)


Vientiane, the capital of Laos, must be one of the most popular tourist destinations recommended by any Laos travel guide. It is the most visited city and a must-see when visiting the country. You can visit many Buddhist monuments, including Haw Phra Kaew Temple, Wat Sisaket Temple, Wat Simuang Monastery, and That Luang Monument, as well as interesting attractions such as Patusai Victory Gate and the Lao Revolution Museum. When in Vientiane, you should make time to visit Buddha Park, which is located just outside the city and is filled with carvings of Buddha statues, Hindu Gods, and demons.



Vang Vieng

When you arrive in Vang Vieng, you will be awestruck by the pristine nature, massive caves, crystal clear blue lagoons, and bustling markets of one of Laos’ most fascinating cities. Kayaking and rock climbing are popular in Vang Vieng, which is located along the Nam Song River.

Xieng Khoang – Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars in northern Laos’ Xieng Khoang province is one of the strangest places in the country. There are dozens of stone pots dating back thousands of years that range in height from 3 to 10 feet and weigh approximately 14 tons each.


If you want to take a long trip to the southern part of the country, you will be amazed by the wonderful natural beauty of Champasak and its Bolaven plateau. In addition, there are about twenty temples in Champasak, the most famous of which is the ruins of Wat Phou, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001.



4000 islands (Si Phan Don)

The 4000 Islands region on the border of Laos and Cambodia is a fascinating gem. It is made up of numerous islands and islets scattered throughout the vast Mekong Delta. It is recommended for those who enjoy visiting remote locations because there are few tourists in these areas. Kayaking, biking, fishing, and visiting Khone Phapheng Falls are the most popular activities there.

4000 islands (Si Phan Don)

4000 islands (Si Phan Don)

>> Here are Best Laos Tours & Holidays Packages for 2023/2024

Holidays and Festivals in Laos

International New Year: January 1

Armed Forces Day: January 20

International Women’s Day: March 8

Buddhist New Year: April 14-16

International Labor Day: May 1

National Women’s Day: July 20

Independence Day: October 12

Laos National Day: December 2

What to eat in Laos

Lao cuisine is unique among Asian cuisines, but it is similar to that of northeast Thailand. Most Lao dishes consist of vegetables and herbs, rice or noodles, and meat (fish, chicken, pork, or beef). Laotians place great importance on the freshness of their ingredients. Locals prefer herbs like galangal and lemongrass, and almost every meal includes padauk (fish sauce). Here are the top three dishes in the country:

Laab (minced meat salad)

Seasoned with lime juice, garlic, and other herbs, this salad can be made with almost any meat, including beef, pork, duck, and fish. This is one of the most popular dishes in Laos.

Laab (minced meat salad)

Laab (minced meat salad)

Papaya salad

This dish is made with grated papaya, fish sauce, and various meat and vegetables. Be careful if you don’t like spicy food.

Laos papaya salad

Laos papaya salad

Mok Pa (steamed fish in banana leaves)

Perfect for eating with sticky rice, this delicate fish is neatly wrapped in banana leaves tied with bamboo strips.

Mok Pa

Mok Pa

We hope the details in this article Laos travel guide are helpful to you. If you need any further information, feel free to contact us here.

How to Plan a Trip to Laos

Planning a trip to Laos? Prepare yourself for a tranquil escape into a land where spirituality and serenity intertwine beautifully. From the mystical temples dotting Luang Prabang to the gentle flow of the Mekong River, every moment in Laos is a step back from the hustle and bustle, inviting you to a world where life moves a little slower. With lush landscapes, hidden caves, and welcoming locals sharing heartfelt smiles, a trip to Laos is not merely travel; it’s a pause, a breath, a story being gently woven into your soul. Dive into a place where each sunrise invites new adventures and every sunset brings peaceful reflections.

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Top Laos Tours

Get ready to explore the hidden treasures of Laos with our carefully curated selection of top Laos tours. Whether you’re drawn to the serene beauty of Luang Prabang, the vibrant markets of Vientiane, or the breathtaking landscapes of the countryside, our tours offer a rich tapestry of experiences. Discover ancient temples, cruise along the Mekong River, and immerse yourself in the local culture. With expert guides and seamless itineraries, we’ll ensure your journey through Laos is nothing short of extraordinary. Join us for an adventure that will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for this enchanting country.

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