Welcome and thank you for visiting this article. Before you start reading, you need to know that some of the links on my website are affiliate links from which I receive a small commission from the sale of certain items, but the price remains the same for you.
Laos is a wonderful destination with its stunning natural beauty, untouched culture, and peaceful atmosphere. However, traveling to any foreign destination requires some essential travel tips that can make your journey more memorable and hassle-free.
During my 2 weeks backpacking in Laos, I came across some incredible Laos travel tips that I found exceedingly helpful, which are worth sharing with you. In this article, I will tell you about these amazing tips.
How to get to Laos?
Laos is a beautiful and serene country that is located in Southeast Asia. Despite being a landlocked country, it is easy to reach from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and other parts of the world.
The most popular mode of travel from Vietnam to Laos is by bus. The journey from Hanoi in Vietnam to Vientiane can take up to 24 hours. However, there are several overnight buses available which save you accommodation and time if you are on a budget. You can already book a bus for €20.
Another way to get there from Vietnam is to fly. There are direct flights available from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Vientiane and the journey takes about 1 hour.
Getting there from Thailand is relatively easy. Many travelers opt for the slow boat journey that takes them from Chiang Rai in Thailand to Luang Prabang. The journey takes two days, with an overnight stop at the border town of Huay Xai.
Alternatively, you can travel from Chiang Mai or Bangkok to Laos by bus. The journey time is about 20 hours, but it is a great opportunity to see some of the stunning scenery in the region.
Another option is to fly from Bangkok to Vientiane or Luang Prabang. Flights are available from several airlines, including Thai Airways, Lao Airlines, and Airasia with prices from €35.
For those traveling from other parts of the world, the most common point of entry is the international airport of Vientiane. Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines fly to Vientiane, and it is possible to book a connecting flight from several cities in Asia.
Most international flights to Laos are a bit more expensive than flying to other major cities like Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur but it is definitely worth visiting this stunning country! Since I was traveling in Thailand, I searched for a flight from Bangkok to Laos (and save the 20-hour bus ride) and found one on Skyscanner for €37
Visa for Laos
If you’re planning a trip, it’s important to know the visa requirements. Most tourists will need a visa on arrival, but for the past couple of years, it’s been possible to purchase an electronic visa online. To ensure you have the most up-to-date information, be sure to check the Immigration website.
The cost of a 30-day tourist visa on arrival is $30. It’s important to note that visa requirements can change frequently, so it’s essential to check the visa and passport requirements for your own country before booking your tickets.
A 30 Days Tourist Visa on arrival – 30 USD
Please note: visa requirements keep changing for every country. Please make sure you check all visa and passport requirements in your own country before booking your tickets.
Travel insurance for Laos
While Laos is a beautiful country with friendly locals and stunning landscapes, unexpected mishaps can happen. Travel insurance can protect you against any unforeseen events such as medical emergencies or flight cancellations.
The healthcare system in Laos may not be up to your standard, and the cost of emergency care can be outrageous. If your luggage gets lost or stolen, travel insurance can cover the replacement or reimbursement of personal items and if you decide to join some adventure activities like trekking, mountain biking, or kayaking then accidents might occur which will be covered by your travel Insurance.
Best time to visit Laos
Laos is a beautiful country with a rich culture and stunning landscapes. If you’re planning a trip to this Southeast Asian gem, it’s important to know the best time to visit. Here’s a breakdown of the seasons in Laos and what you can expect during each one.
High Season: November – March
The months of November to March are considered the best time to visit Laos. The weather is cooler in the mountains and the temperatures rise in March and April. The skies are clear and the sun is shining, making it the perfect time to explore the country’s natural beauty.
However, keep in mind that this is also the busiest time of year for tourism, so be sure to book your accommodations in advance.
Shoulder Season: July & August
July and August are also great months to visit Laos. The temperatures are comfortable, although humidity is high and there may be some rainfall in certain parts of the country.
However, this is when the landscapes turn into beautiful shades of green, making it a great time for nature lovers. Just be aware that this is also a popular time for travelers due to the summer holidays.
Low Season: April – June, and September – October
The low season in Laos is from April to June and September to October. During this time, the temperatures can rise to a scorching 35°C – 40°C, and daily tropical rainfalls are common.
While the rains are usually short and heavy, they can last for days and cause flooding in some parts of the country. However, if you don’t mind the heat and humidity, this can be a great time to visit as there are fewer tourists and prices are lower.
No matter when you decide to visit Laos, there’s always something to see and do.
Money in Laos
The official currency is the Lao Kip (LAK) and €1 is about 18000 LAK (2023) However, during my trip to Laos in 2019, the conversion was €1 is 9000 LAK, so it is worth to travel to Laos right now!
I would recommend getting some cash in US$ at banks or authorized money changers before you go as they offer better rates compared to hotels or street vendors.
Or get a WISE Card to transfer money in the app to different currencies with the best exchange rates and very low fees. This saved me so much hassle, time, and money during my travels across the world.
However, Make sure you get some cash in as in rural areas credit cards are not accepted. ATMs are available in larger cities like Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
Even though I worked with some brands and businesses in Laos, it was still the cheapest place I’ve been in Asia.
The street food at the night markets will cost you a few Euros, an overnight stay in a private room will cost you €20, and it will be even cheaper if you stay in a hostel dormitory, and many activities are free or extremely cheap.
You can have a fantastic time in Laos on a daily budget of €30-40.
Where to get a Laos SIM card?
When you arrive at the airport in Vientiane, it’s best to get a Laos SIM card right away. This is the easiest way to get one, it saves time and the prices are about the same as in the city.
Unitell offers a plan with unlimited data that lasts for 30 days and costs 130,000 kip (about 13 euros).
TIP: If you want to buy a SIM card, you will need your passport.
The best apps to download for Laos
- Booking.com is the best and our most favorite app to find hotels and hostels in Laos
- LOCA. LA-App gets you around like a local. The app is similar to uber and grab
- Maps.me is the best offline mapping app on the planet. Download the map, choose your route, save your favorite places, and explore the country without using the internet. (money saver!)
- Currency XE calculates currencies on the go. With the app, you can access live exchange rates and calculate prices on your smartphone super easily.
- HappyCow is an amazing app to find the best vegan & vegetarian food around you. Very useful when you visit Nepal.
- Not really an app, but the ebooks of Lonely Planet need to be highlighted too. The ebooks are an easy, quick, and cheap way to carry almost every Lonely Planet guidebook in your pocket. From destination tips, and beautiful images to great road trip routes, you’ll find everything to get the most out of your trip.
- FoodPanda is the best app if you’re looking for a convenient and hassle-free way of ordering food in Laos, then the FoodPanda app is definitely worth considering.
- Hostelworld is the best app to search for the best hostels and meet other backpackers in Laos
READ ALSO: 12 x best hotels in Laos
Food in Laos
Laos is a paradise for food lovers thanks to its local cuisine and wide range of flavors. Try some of the country’s best foods, like sticky rice, and tam mak hoong, when you’re there.
And when you stroll along the market and you wanna eat street food, go for the busy stalls where locals are eating.
Taking a cooking class or staying at a homestay where the hosts prepare traditional Lao dishes is another fantastic way to sample the country’s culinary delights.
TIP: Bring cash as you can’t always pay with a credit card, especially in smaller towns and villages.
Transport in Laos
- You can travel by bus: Most coach buses run between the larger cities, like Bangkok to Vientiane or Hanoi to Vientiane, and cost between €20 and €40. This is really amazing if you want to go backpacking in Asia and visit many places on a budget.
- Shuttles or minivans: Most of the time, minivans and shuttle buses go from places like Vangvieng to Luang Prabang and other villages and towns. Even though the rides are bumpy and often packed with people, they only cost €7–10 each.
- Taxi: Taxis are cheap and easy but I would recommend using them to go to places that are not easy to reach with local transport. I used a few taxi rides in Luang Prabang to get around.
- Trains: Since 2021, there is a train operating from Vientiane to China via Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. Obviously, this makes it much easier and faster to move around.
- Boats and Cruises: A cruise on the Mekong River is without a doubt the most interesting way to see Laos. You can take a boat from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai near the border of Thailand.
Laundry in Laos
If you’ve been traveling for a while, you probably have some laundry to do. In Laos, you can get your laundry done at a very low price at a local laundry.
It will cost you between €0.7-1 per kilogram, and you can get it back the next day, which is very convenient if you are not staying for a long time in one place.
You can also use the laundry service in your hotel or accommodation, however, this is usually a bit more expensive.
Do you have more Laos travel tips or do you have any questions feel free to drop a message in the comments.
Save these pins for later
Read more articles about Laos
Plan your trip with these Laos travel tips
To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly.
- Trip – Flight deals
- Booking.com – Hotels and accommodation
- GAdventures – Group trips
- TripAdvisor – Reviews and activities
- HostelWorld – Hostels
- GetYourGuide – Activities and excursions
- RentalCars – Car rental
- Omio – Transport
- iVisa – Travel documents
- Wise – Money transfer
- World Nomads – Travel Insurance
PICTURES AND EDITING
All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.
Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!
The camera gear I used for this trip
I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.
Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.