Laos Guide

Laos Guide

• Population: 6.5 million

• Capital: Vientiane

• Religion: Buddhism

The sleeping beauty of Southeast Asia, the Republic of Laos has been isolated for decades and therefore tourism is still very much in its infancy here. Time seems to slow down in Laos, as even in the capital city, Vientiane, the pace of life is refreshingly unhurried. The government is instigating a green approach to its development, with the intention of keeping Laos’ pristine ecological system as natural as possible. This makes Laos a dream destination for nature and wildlife lovers, who are seeking the true meaning of getting away from it all.

Besides being a land where no one is in a hurry, Laos is also a land of Buddhist traditions where you will find saffron-robed teens peek curiously out from wats (temples). And while earning the title of being the world’s most heavily bombed country hardly seems like a ringing endorsement, a visit to Luang Prabang’s World Heritage temples soothes the soul. Explore Vientiane, the world’s smallest capital, as it moves at the same serene pace as the Mekong river floating by its shores.


Popular Sites

• Luang Prabang – a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, best known for its high concentration of Buddhist temples and serene location on the banks of Mekong

• Vientiane – the capital city of Laos

• The Mekong River – runs from the north-west to the most southern tip of Laos, forming a natural border with Thailand; cruising on the river provides a great opportunity to see some of the more remote areas of the country which are often inaccessible by road

• Plain of Jars – see the dotted landscape of Laos with hundreds of mysterious and centuries-old stone jars


Popular Foods

Laap: As a traditional Lao food, Laap is a meat-based salad made from minced meat like chicken or fish with raw vegetables, spice, fish sauce, and sticky rice. It’s said that Laap is the national dish in Laos that every visitor to the country should try it.

Local Beer: It is a good brew that gives you best refreshment on a summer day. The country’s award-winning brand Beer Lao is a highly favored beverage for both expatriates and residents. 

Papaya Salad: This salad is made from sliced raw papaya, spice, sugar, fermented fish sauce and shrimp paste with tomatoes, lime juice, etc.. It’s among the best food of Laos, a super spicy dish that not all would dare a try.

Baguette Sandwich: Since Laos was influenced greatly by French during the colonial time, its cuisine contains a bit of French taste. Baguette Sandwich is the evident legacy that mostly sold in the capital Vientiane. The baguette is cut in half and stuffed with tomatoes, cheese, onion, pork and chopped ham with chili sauce. 

Sai Oua: It is pork sausage marinated with herbs, such as shallots, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal and seasoned with Lao fish sauce. The locals usually have this food along with raw greens and sticky rice. 



The official language of the country is Lao. In tourist attractions or recreational places, English is spoken widely.


Weather & Climate

The climate in Laos can be described as tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons a dry period in the winter ( October – April) and a humid rain period in the summer (May – September). The annual average temperatures range from 22°C to 27°C year-around. It has been greatly influenced by the monsoon which are rather irregular.

The best time to go to Laos is between November and March when the weather is cool and conducive for traveling.



There are three currencies used in Laos: Laos Kip (national currency), Thai Baht, and US Dollar. However, Laos Kip and USD seems to be the most popular currencies in Laos.

International ATMs are widely available in major cities of Laos, thus exchanging between USD and Laos Kip is quite easy and convenient.

Credit and debit cards are accepted in large businesses, hotels and restaurants in Laos. The useful suggestion would be to take some cash on you at all times to avoid unforeseen circumstances.

Exchange rate: 

1 USD = 8,300 LAK

1 EURO = 9,800 LAK


Getting Around

1. Flight: In Laos, major cities are well connected by flights. Laos Airlines is a Laos domestic airline running routes like Vientiane to Houayxai, Luang Nmatha, Luang Prabang, Oudomxai, Sam Neua and Sayabouti in the north and Pakse and Savanakhet in the south. The journey is short within Laos.

2. Boat: With the 4,600 km of navigable waterways, boat transportation is one of the most common way to transfer in Laos. Recent years have witnessed a decreasing of the boats. But slow ferries and exciting speedboats could be your choice. And you can hire boats privately.

3. Motorbike: Motorbikes can be hired in Laos to explore the countryside. A license is not needed but your passport will need to left as a deposit. The prices for a day are generally USD8–10.

4. Bus: Since the road system has gradually been improved, so as the bus system. Air-conditioned VIP buses are available between major towns. You can book through a travel agency or your hotel easily.

5. Tuk Tuk or Jumbo: It is a three-wheeled vehicles and serve as an ideal way to travel around town. Although it is slow, but a unique and pleasant way for you to take in the city and street scenes.