Do you love ancient monuments, temples, excursions to the preserved elements of ancient civilizations, untouched wildlife and acquaintance with new authentic cultures, rich in peculiar rituals and traditions? Then tours to Laos are perfect for you! And if you choose this amazing and original country for your trip, then we definitely recommend that you familiarize yourself with the useful information below.
Laos: location. According to thesciencetutor, the country is located in Southeast Asia, and its neighbors are China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand. The country has no access to the sea.
Laos: capital. The official capital of Laos is Vientiane and the ancient capital is Luang Prabang. These two cities will be the most interesting to see. In the official capital, you should definitely visit the Buddha Park with a lot of sculptures, the Wat Phra Keo temple with the Emerald Buddha and one of the oldest temples in the country, Wat Si Saket. You can also stroll through the local colorful markets and look into several restaurants with local cuisine, especially in the Mekong waterfront area.
Laos: language. The official language of the country is Lao. Many locals also speak French, Thai and Vietnamese, and in the service and tourism industries there are personnel who speak English.
Laos: visa. If you have planned a tour to Laos lasting no more than 15-30 days (and most tours last up to a week), then you will need a tourist visa to Laos, the cost of which is 20 USD. It is enough to submit a small list of documents (internal and foreign passport, application form, 3 color photos for documents, insurance, confirmation of hotel reservation and air tickets). Processing usually takes 3 to 10 days. Tour operator in Laos Cities Travel provides all the necessary support in obtaining a visa to Laos for Ukrainians.
Laos: features of customs control. If you have more than 2000 USD in cash with you at the entrance, then at the customs it will most likely be asked to be declared. In addition, the customs rules of Laos prohibit the import of drugs, weapons, explosives. As for the restrictions on the import of alcoholic and tobacco products, they are as follows: up to 2 liters of alcohol; up to 200 cigarettes.
Laos: climate and seasonality. For tourists, the climate of Laos is quite comfortable, although in spring and summer it is sometimes quite hot during the day, the average temperature is about +32, but it can rise up to +39. It often rains from May to September. In winter and autumn, more “gentle” degrees are about +27 – +30 and there is practically no precipitation. At night in winter and autumn, the temperature does not fall below +17.
Laos: time. The difference between the time in Kyiv and Vientiane +5 hours.
Laos: currency. The official currency here is the Laotian kip (LAK). For 1 dollar (USD) in Laos, you can buy approximately 8,110 Laotian kip.
Laos: tips. In hotels and restaurants in the capital, usually about 5-10% is included in the check, so in such cases you can not leave a tip. In cafes and small restaurants, as well as guides and taxi drivers, you can leave about 5% for a tip.
Laos: telephone. Firstly, it is worth remembering the emergency numbers of Laos: firemen 190, police 191, ambulance 195. Secondly, if you need to call to Vientiane, then the area code is 21, to Luang Prabang – 71. To call from Laos to Ukraine, dial 00 3 – city code (for example, 044 for Kyiv) – phone number. From Ukraine to Laos, calls to the number 856 – area code – subscriber code. It is best to buy a local Lao Telecom mobile card on the spot.
Laos: electrical network. In Laos, the mains voltage is 230V. Regarding the types of sockets, the most popular are European ones with two (as in Ukraine) and three round holes. As well as the French sample (two round pins, and one round in the socket) and the American sample (two flat pins). Therefore, it would be best to buy the necessary adapter on the spot, and if the hotel comes across with European sockets, then the adapter will not be needed.
Laos: clothing etiquette. There are no rules and strict requirements for tourist clothing in Laos, but it is important to protect yourself from the heat – hats and clothing made from natural fabrics. As for the rules of conduct, the main thing is not to offend the image of the Buddha in any way and show respect for the temples.
Laos: official holidays. In addition to the standard holidays (New Year and March 8), you can also visit Independence Day on 2.12 with parades and nationwide celebrations. Laos festivals will be no less interesting:
- in November, the Tat Luang harvest festival is held with peculiar traditions and events, especially in the capital;
- in February, the Wat Pu festival (near the city of Paksa, an hour flight from the capital), which gathers many locals and tourists. At this time, there are a lot of spectacular rituals, processions, concerts of local performers, sports performances, folk games and dances, you can try the local cuisine in all its glory and visit the fair;
- in mid-February, the annual Saiabori Elephant Festival gathers between 80,000 and 100,000 guests. Elephants from different parts of the country show performances, tricks and other highlights of their skills, take part in parades and competitions. In addition to elephants, the festival hosts performances by musicians, theatrical performances and other cultural programs.