Travel Notices

LaosLaos

Laos is Asia’s diamond in the rough. Far less visited than other countries in Indochina, Laos offers exotic foods, incredible natural landscapes, and diverse culture. There are many adventurous opportunities, from canoeing down a river in an underground cave to trekking through the 100 Waterfalls. Travelers will fall in love wandering to remote areas shrouded in natural beauty and remnants of a historical past.

Tours & Packages

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On Sale Small Group Tour Ancient Capitals of Indochina
Sights, history & culture of three incredible countries: Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam plus deluxe overnight Halong Bay cruise; optional Bangkok extension
from $5549 w/ Flights from $4749 Tour Only 16 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**

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Highlights

  1. Luang Prabang

    AlmsgivingLaos’ spiritual capital city is the perfect fusion of history, tradition, and culture. Join monks and locals in the centuries-old practice of almsgiving as the sun comes over the horizon. Ride a bike down narrow alleys, where you can shop for artisan goods and sample local rice wine. Ascend the 328 stairs to the top of Mount Phousi for a panoramic view of the city, rivers, and mountains. And, visit the Royal Palace Museum, the former home of King Sisavang Vong, and admire the precious artifacts and crown jewels of former royals.

  2. Pak Ou Caves

    Pak Ou CavesTake a cruise up the Mekong River to visit the Park Ou Caves. Locally called "Tam Ting," the caves are filled with thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of various sizes. This crucial religious site dates back thousands of years and has been used for worship for centuries. According to legend, the caves are inhabited by the spirits of the rivers. Locals believe that the caves were discovered in the 16th century by one of Laos' greatest Kings, King Setthathirath. Today, the Park Ou Caves still stand as a place of worship, especially in April during the country's New Year. During this time, the caves are packed with locals who wash in the waters and tend to all the Buddhas inside.

  3. Baci Ceremony

    Baci Ceremony Photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra on FlickrA Baci Ceremony is a traditional, spiritual ceremony practiced in Laos for hundreds of years. This special ceremony expresses goodwill and good luck to others and celebrates an event of high importance, including weddings, births, and welcoming guests. The Lao believe that every person has 32 spirits, constituting their spiritual essence, and the Baci is the ritual used to call back escaped spirits into the body. The ceremony involves tying white cotton strings around a person's wrists combined with prayers of well wishes for the person for whom the ceremony is intended.

  4. Kuang Si Waterfalls 

    Kuang Si FallsDrive through the Luang Prabang countryside to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls, admiring panoramic images of the rice fields, hills, and small villages along the way. This 3-tiered waterfall is one of the most impressive waterfalls in all of Southeast Asia. Take a dip in the pools at the base of the falls, surrounded by small cascading waterfalls. Then, walk to the top and across a small wooden bridge for breathtaking views of the grand Kuang Si Waterfall. Witness the mighty waters plummeting down 160 feet against the cliff's yellow limestone, and be sure to capture an incredible unobstructed view of the falls!

Fast Facts

Already booked on one of our packages to Laos? See everything you need to know before you go.

Overview

Capital: Vientiane
Population:  6.8 million
Currency: Lao kip (LAK)
Languages:  Lao, Hmong, Khmu, French
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: GMT +7

Entry requirements Please see our Entry Requirements page.
Staying Healthy

Malaria

Malaria is present in Laos. Take precautions against getting mosquito bites. Speak with your doctor about taking a prescription medicine (before, during, and after your trip) to prevent malaria.

CDC Malaria guidance: Laos

Weather

November through March are the best months for travel in Laos although it can still be hot and humid in some areas. The months of July and August are tolerable. April and May bring the hot season to Laos, where the thermostat can reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and September and October is the monsoon season. 

What to wear

Please be sure to have respectable attire for visits to temples and religious sites—wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken-in, not brand-new) walking shoes, consider taking both pairs. Plan to dress in layers, so you can adjust your wardrobe according to the weather conditions of the moment. Remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.

Money & Credit Cards

The local currency in Laos is the Lao Kip. Most upscale hotels and some stores and restaurants accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. dollars. We highly recommend that you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations. Old, torn, crumpled bills are not always accepted. Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted in Laos. If you intend to use traveler’s checks, please verify that they are still accepted in the places visited in this program.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card while traveling.

Shopping

You will certainly have time for shopping. The best buys in Laos are handicrafts and textiles. The Lao sarong or pha sin made from silk or cotton is a popular souvenir. Other souvenirs to look out for include silverware, in particular from Luang Prabang, and wood carvings.

Your guides will no doubt have some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you. This is how business is done throughout the world. But do beware when you shop, especially if you are buying jewelry or other valuable items. If you plan to buy jewelry or other expensive items, be sure to inspect the items before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs A & C. Some outlets are a combination of type A and C and can accept either type plug. Plug G may be found in some hotels. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.

Learn more about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Major hotels throughout Laos have Business Centres with PCs connected to the Internet and most now some wireless broadband access. Check with reception for fares (often free of charge) and facilities. Cyber cafes are easily found in major towns and cities and prices are reasonable. In many Internet cafes, you can buy pre-paid international phone cards to dial from a computer to landlines or mobile phones worldwide. Most Internet cafes are equipped with webcams, headsets and microphones.

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? Read up on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Did you know?
  • The national dish of Laos is Laap, a meat salad with citrus juice, onions, and sticky rice (another staple of Laotian cuisine).
  • The Laotian New Year, Bun Pi Mai, occurs every April and lasts for 3 days.
  • French is the 2nd most popular language.  Laos was subjected to French rule for more than 50 years, and you can still see French influences in the country today.
  • Tempt your taste buds with one of Laos’ most popular drinks - Snake wine.  A cobra or other venomous snake is placed inside a bottle of rice wine.
  • Mount Phousi is considered sacred, and believed to have been the home of a Buddhist god.
* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

** Sale discounts valid for a limited time on for new bookings only. Not valid for Biblical Journeys tours or private, custom, or group travel. Advertised sale discounts generally also include any applicable "Instant Savings" discounts. Bookings made with sale discounts are eligible for travel agent commissions but may not be combined with any other offers, discounts or credits, except our "Instant Savings" discounts.

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