Laos Pre – Departure Information

Laos Pre – Departure Information

General Information


Official Name: Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Flag: lao_flag
Population: 6,5 million
Capital City: Vientiane
People: 55% Lao, 11% Khmou, 8% Hmong, 26% others
Language: Laotian
Religion: 67% are Theravada Buddhist, 1.5% are Christian, and 31.5% are others
Currency: Kip
Time Zone: (UTC+7)
International Dialing Code: +856

Laos is among un-developing to developing countries, you may not expect to enjoy all facilities likely same as your home country. Such as Infrastructure, hospitality industry and other facilitate may not meet your expectation

General advice on travelling in Laos

  • It is not recommended to drink tap water. Purified, bottled water is available throughout the country.
  • Bring along the mosquito repellent, sleeping bag, especially while traveling and trekking in upcountry and forested remote areas.
  • A hat and the cream are advisable a protection against the hot tropical sun during the tour.
  • Casual and light clothing is required, preferably natural fibers, for all year-round, but a sweater or jacket may be useful in the northern part of the country during winter months.
  • If touring on the Rivers (Mekong and its tributaries) a windproof jacket is recommended.
  • During monsoonal season (May to October) an umbrella and a raincoat should be brought along.
  • Adequate suppliers of any prescription medicine are needed, as  they may not be available in remote area.
  • For exploring of the caves, sculptured walls and interior of the temples a flashlight can really help very much.

Personal liability insurance cover is recommended in any cases. Lao hospitals are generally not up to International Standards.


1. Travel Advice

Laos is generally considered as having the lowest rate of crime and the safest country to visit in South East Asia, however, visitors should exercise appropriate security precautions and remain aware of their surroundings. Street crime has been on the increase, particularly motorcycle drive-by theft of handbags. But it is rarely seen outside the capital.


2. Safety and security procedure

Safe traveling is a key issue and our first priority for our customers while on our tours. All our drivers are licensed. The transportation, including vehicles, boats, bicycles and motor cycles use for our customers are provided by local insurance company, however, it is very limited, covering on board passengers and also the third parties (in case of accident only). In case of a customers’ health problem, we have selected the hospitals and clinics listed below:

Vientiane Capital Australian clinic emergency Tel: (00856-21) 413603
Luang Prabang Chinese Hospital emergency Tel: (00856-21) 214022
Xiengkhouang Hospital No. 1 emergency Tel: (00856-61)312014
Lao-Mongolian Hospital emergency Tel: (00856-61)312166
Pakse Champasak Hospital emergency Tel: (00856-31)212018

For serious cases, requiring Thailand hospitals are of a higher standard, often comparable to western hospitals:

Nongkhai, Thailand Hospital emergency Tel (0066-42) 465201 – 8
Ek Udon, Thailand Ek Udon Hospital in Thailand Tel (0066-42) 342555

For the first aid assistance in remote area, the nearest local hospitals and clinics will be contacted by the local tour guide. Please report all your illness to local guide immediately.

Note: All medical and/or checkup with other fee will be paid by patience customers, Visit Asia Travel will be your coordinator and assistance only.

3. Travel insurance

Travel insurance including emergency medical repatriation, cancellation costs, act of god, and medical expenses is required for passengers who book our trip.


4. Health

There are no specific health requirements for entry into Laos. However, you should consult your doctor for current information and prescriptions for vaccinations, anti-malarial requirements and any reasonably foreseeable illnesses whilst travelling in Laos. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses).


5. Spending money

You will need to allow enough money for meals, drink, shopping, please also bring an additional US$250/person as an “emergency” fund to be used if circumstances outside Visit Asia Travel  control (e.g. natural disaster, flight delay,…) necessitate a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence! Tipping is very much appreciated by local guides, driver, hotel staffs and restaurant staffs. The suggested tip for guide and driver is around US$5 – 10/per person per day, but it is all depending on your satisfaction of the services. ATM is also available in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. The withdrawal is converted into local currency, KIP.  The exchange rate from USD to KIP is about US$1 equal 8,000kip, however, this is not stable, please speak to your guide for details.


6. Visa

Laos Visa is required by all nationalities. Visa is usually delivered by Lao Embassies or is issued at any International entry gates to Laos, including International airport of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse.  The visa form is available at immigration counter; please bring along with you the two pieces of color photo (passport size). The fee is quoted from US$8 to US$42 per person valid for 30days. However, the procedure of getting of visa will be changed from time to time. However, Laos accept free visas for some ASEAN Member Citizenship. More details, please contact us.


7. Money exchange

US currency (cash or travellers cheques) is the most convenient to carry when travelling in Laos. While USD and Thai Baht cash can be used directly purchase goods and services along with the local currency. Other major international currency may be exchanged in the main cities, where Visa and MasterCard may also be used for cash advances at major bank. ATM is available in Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Pakse in cash withdrawal converted into local currency KIP. The hotels we use offer exchange services at a reasonable rate. It is not possible to exchange the local currency outside the country so convert or spend all your local currency before leaving. Black markets are reemerging in Laos, but is considered a danger and best avoided. A flash money transfer is also available at The Western Union in Vientiane and in Luang Prabang.


8. Meals

The package tour is generally including all breakfast and few principal meals. An indication of how much you will spend per meal is approximately at least US$5 – US$18 depending on what restaurant you have meal.

9. Laundry

Facilities are offered by most hotels for a charge. There will be times when you want to or have to do your own so we suggest bring non-polluting / biodegradable soap. Outside laundry is also available; please speak to your tour guide to find the best one nearby.


10. Check list

Travel documents: At least 6 month validation passport, two passport photos (if you want to obtain visa on arrival) Lao visa, travel insurance, air ticket, health requirements.  Traveler’s cheques, cash, credit card, Money pouch, first aid kit, day pack to carry your personal needs during the day, alarm clock and torch, flashlight. Sun cream and sunglasses Insect repellent Ear plugs & eyes mask (for light sleepers), raincoat or umbrella in the west season (May to October). Tampons are difficult to buy in Laos, warm clothes for the winter months (Nov to Feb). The mean temperature in Hanoi in January is around 16 degrees Celsius-cool for South East Asia. Bring a winter weight sweater and trousers when travelling in these months, and a jacket too if you feel the cold.


Your emergency contact number 

Green Discovery Indochina, Hanoi Head Office

A. 1C Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem Distr, Hanoi, Vietnam

T. +84 439447388/+84439447399

Mob/WhatsAp/Viber. +84 987184390



Representative Office, Denmark

A. Vorup Boulevard 8, 8940 Randers, Denmark

T. +45 60286552 T. +45 60286552




Representative Office, Phnom Penh Cambodia

A. No 35-1, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

T. +855 95673184 Fax: +855 12736888


Representative Office, Vientiane Laos

A. Ban Muangnoi, Xaysetha District, Vientiane Laos

T. + 856 71254735 Fax: + 856 71254735