Laos Travel Guide, Tips and Advice

Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous…Those are all things you need to know before going to Laos 

1. Best time to visit Laos

Laos’ geography plays a major part in shaping its climate, and cool temperatures can still be found in the highlands, which lie mainly in northern, eastern and central regions. The ‘green season’ falls between late May and October, when the rains return to the country. However, showers are usually short and sharp, having little impact on your exploration. At this time of year the country comes to life, with waterfalls beginning to flow once more and the lush scenery attracting a variety of wildlife..

2. How to transfer in Laos

– Public transport has not been developed, taxis are only available in big cities but not so much because private vehicles here are quite cheap because they do not have to pay import taxes, so most of the people in Laos can buy cars. The vehicle that locals often use is the Tuk Tuk vehicle, which is renovated from a cargo truck or tractor.

Traveling along the Mekong River in Laos is also one of the ways to discover the life of the Lao people in the closest way. The typical regular route is a round trip between Vientiane capital and the ancient capital of Luang Prabang or the Luang Prabang – Huay Xai route. These ships usually depart in the morning, the prices are usually not too high but may change seasonally.

3. Destinations

Cities for tourism, leisure and entertainment: Vientiane capital, Luang Prabang capital, Pakse city, Luang Namtha city, Savanakhet city.

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand.Vientiane is noted as the home of the most significant national monument in Laos: That Luang, which is a known symbol of Laos and an icon of Buddhism in Laos.
Louangphabang which meaning “Royal Buddha Image”, is a city in north central Laos, consisting of 58 adjacent villages, of which 33 comprise the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site.

Famous tourist attractions in Laos: Vieng Xai, Pak Ou cave, Wat Phu temple, Pha That Luang tower, Wat Xieng Thong pagoda, The Plain of Jars, Si Phan Don waterfall, Vang Vieng tourist area, Bokeo nature reserve, Tham Kong Lo cave, Mekong river …

The Kaysone Phomvihane Cave has its air-circulation pump in working order and is the most memorable of the caves when visiting Vieng Xai
Wat Phu is a ruined Khmer Hindu temple complex in southern Laos. It is at the base of mount Phou Khao, some 6 kilometres from the Mekong in Champasak Province. It has a unique structure: The elements lead to a shrine where a lingam dedicated to Lord Shiva was bathed in water from a mountain spring. The site later became a centre of Theravada Buddhist worship, which it remains today.
The Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos. It consists of thousands of stone jars scattered around the upland valleys and the lower foothills of the central plain of the Xiangkhoang Plateau. The jars are arranged in clusters ranging in number from one to several hundred.

4. Traditional festival

Laos hosts many festivals throughout the year. In Lao, the “festival” is called Bun (meaning bless). Some festivals such as: Bun PhaVet (Buddha incarnation) in January; Bun VisakhaPuya (Buddha’s Birthday) in April; Bun Bangphay (ascension artillery) in May; Bun Khao Phansa (fasting season) in July; Bun Khao Padapdin (commemorate the deceased) in September; Bun Suanghua (boat racing) in October.

Bun Pha Vet Festival

Time: Different dates in the first month of the year (January).

Location: All the temples throughout Laos.

Meaning: The festival is held to celebrate Jataka or birth-tale of Prince Vessanthara, the Buddha’s penultimate existance.

5. Currency

The monetary unit of Laos is “Lao Kip” which stands for “Lak”, symbolized as “₭”. Current bank notes in Laos have the following denominations: 50’000, 20’000, 10’000, 5’000, 2’000, 1’000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 ₭ (coins are no longer used in Laos).

The Thai Bath and US Dollar are the most widely used and easily convertible foreign currency in Laos. Note, automatic teller machines have not been used and trusted in Laos.

6. Cuisine

Laos food is vibrant, colorful, packed with herbs and chilies, and the combinations of ingredients are guaranteed to thrill your taste-buds. Although the food of Laos, or Laotian food, is making waves across the world – it’s rightfully gaining popularity – it still has so much more potential.

Khao Piak Kao – One of Laos’ Oldest Dishes
Soop Pak – A must eat vibrant Laos vegetable dish
Tam maal hun: a typical papaya salad of Laos.
Lao Lao is the name of the popular wine used in Laos, this wine is brewed from rice, with a dark brown color like whiskey.

Looking for dream vacations in Laos? Don’t hesitate to contact our consultant team fro further information. 

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