Laid back country to relax and ease your mind.
Visa: 30 days on arrival for 30 USD
Time zone: GMT +7
Location, Boarders: South-East Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China
Language: Lao, English and French are widely spoken in touristic areas
Currency: Lao Kip, 1USD = 8030kip
Price guide: pepsi bottle (500 ml) = 4000Kip, baguette sandwiches (10000
– 15000 Kip)
at Laos, the arrival hall is like a wide room with 6 counters, the visa costs
30 USD, but you will cause some delay in queue as they will still try to figure
out how our beloved passport works (big as a notebook and opens from the
right). After getting my bag I went to change some money (1 USD = 8000 kip),
the only way out of the airport is taxi for 56000 kip or 6 USD, are you shocked
?? yes they use small USD bills in laos and you may not need to exchange any more money, and the
exchange rate for the small bills (1 usd) is the same as the 100 notes.
best options are around Francios street and “Nukko-komane” street. Reaching the
town center you will find many cheap stays, the cheapest “Lao Sakonah guest
house” a fanned room with shared bathroom costs 40000 Kip, another good choice
is “Laos youth inn” a single room with air cond. and shared bathroom is for
50000 kip .
days is enough to tour the city in relaxed pace.
That Luang: this is the symbol for Laos, 4 Km away
from the city center (2Km North-East of Patuxai), this is probably the most
important monument in here. Admission: 5000Kip, hours: 8am -4pm.
Laos’s replica of Arc de Triomphe, 8am-5pm, Fees: 3000Kip to go up and have a
spectacular view over Vientiane.
museum: Admission: 5000Kip, hours: 8-12, 1-4., no
park: situated 25 Km away from the city center, bus #14
costs 5000 kip one way, entrance fees, 5000kip +3000Kip for the camera. It’s a
park by the Mekong river filled with Buddha statues, the park also contains
statues for other Hindu gods (Vishnu, Shiva...etc)
Si Saket: the oldest temple in Vientiane, include more than
300 seated Buddha and 2000 Buddha images. Admission: 5000Kip, hours: 8-12, 1-4.
there and away
is the main hub to travel around Laos. There are buses to all destinations in
Laos and around South-East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand)
famous for outdoor activities (cycling, rock climbing, rafting, hiking and
tubing), though there is no man made attractions, this place is essential in
your tour around Laos.
Vieng is infected by “friends” phenomenon, where mostly all the cafes and
restaurants starts showing friends the series from the early morning till they
close; now they added “family guy” to the list.
budget travelers this place is ideal, you can stay the night for 20000Kip (2.5
USD), for dining, there is a variety of choices from sandwiches, pizzas to
steaks, though as for halal food there is one indian restaurant (nazim) that serves halal meet.
exploration: there is a lot of caves around vang
vieng, the most famous one is “Phu Kham cave”; mostly for the blue lagoon where
people like to take a swim after they enter the cave. The climb to the cave is
steep but the view inside is amazing with a sleeping Buddha marks the start of
the pass to the hall. To reach the cave, just keep moving forward in the dirt
road, ignoring all the signs, until you pass a small bridge which is 3 KM away
from your destination. (15 Km round trip)
Vang Vieng is famous for tubing activities, though it is mostly drinking and
hardly any tubing, tube rent is 50000 Kip including the life jacket and
transportation to the starting point, the river drifts you to the end point,
while people like to make some stops at the bars around the river, most people
just go from bar to bar :D
climbing: you can either DIY for experienced climbers, but
you have to get a permit first, or join any of the climbing organizers offering
climbing courses (1-3 days) for beginners
ride over vang vieng: this is new to town so it’s still
expensive and there are few people who want to try it. Three trips a day 1 hour
each, 6:30 am, 7:30 am & 4:30 pm (sunrise 6:30am, 5:30 sunset)
there and away
are buses from/to Vientiane (30,000kip), and from/to luang Prabang (95,000 –
can hire a motorbike or a bicycle to go around town.
old capital of Laos and it attracts more tourists than the capital itself, and
it is a UNESCO protected World Heritage city.
best options are around the old quarters north of the palace,
museum: it is the former King’s palace now converted to a
museum. Fees: 30,000 Kip, visiting hours: 8-11:30, 13:30 - 16:00; closed on
Tuesdays. No cameras are allowed.
Wat Xieng Thong: the royal temple, was
built in 1560. Admission Fees: 20,000 Kip. Hours; 8am – 5pm.
the hill in the town center offering great views over the town and hosting some
temples. This a great place to be at sunset. Admission: 20,000 Kip, hours: 8am
alms giving ceremony: as monks start there day roaming the
streets and people offers them food, this has been a tradition in Luang Prabang
and became a touristic attractions. They start at 6am in the main roads. Some
guidelines should be followed:
never sit higher
than the monk as it is disrespectful
don’t stay in
the way of the monks or the givers, stay a little bit behind unless you want to
make an offering
clothing T shirts and long shorts should be ok.
Si waterfall: the biggest waterfall around Luang
Prabang about 35 Km from town, a nice spot to have a swim in the
turquoise-green pools. Admission fees: 20,000Kip
tours for hiking, cycling and elephant rides
there and away
are buses from/to Vientiane (110,000 – 150,000kip), and from/to Vang Vieng
prabang hosts an airport with flights around Laos, Bangkok, Chang Mai and Siem
a bicycle is a great way to explore the town.
Si Phan Don (4000 Islands):
to the Irrawaddy rare dolphins and S.E.A. widest waterfall.
main 3 islands are Don Khong (the biggest), Don Det and Don Khon connected with
small a bridge
Where to stay:
According to its size and being the first island to
have electricity Don Khong has the most accommodation places, While Don Det is
much popular for backpackers.
trip to see the falls and the dolphins
the usual Tubing, hiking and cycling
there and away:
leave Vientiane to don Khong at 7:30 pm arriving at 10:30 am for 210 Kip. there
are also frequent buses from Pakse.
is close to the Cambodian borders, though a lot of bad stories heard about
travelers trying to cross the border solo, it is advised that you arrange the
crossing with a group or with a tour company to facilitate the crossing and to
arrange the transportation on the Cambodian side as it seems to be scarce.
maps are obtained from google search engine, please refer to it for larger