Lao in brief

Location : landlocked country bordered by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.
Area : 236,800 square Kilometers.
Climate : Tropical with rainy season from May to October.
Population : 5.9 million. Density : 25 people per square kilometer.
Religion : Buddhism (Theravada Buddhism).
Language : Lao (English is widely understood in the cities)
Capital : Vientiane
Major Cities : – Vientiane – Savannakhet – Pakse – Luang Prabang
Main touristic sites: – Luangphabang, the charm and the serenity of the world heritage “an alive museum of the past ”.
– Plain of Jars (Xiengkhouang) the 3,000 years stone jars.
– That Luang Stupa and Patouxay (triumphal arch) Vientiane City.
– Ruins of Wat Phu Champassak temple built from 6th to 8th centuries placed under the UNESCO’s list of the world heritage conservation and Khonephapheng Waterfall, the biggest waterfall of the Mekong river in Champassak province.

GEOGRAPHY

The People’s Democratic Republic of Laos is located in the center of Indochina, sharing borders with China to the north (416 km), Thailand to the west (1730 km), and Cambodia to the south (492 km) and Vietnam to the east (1957 km).

With an area of 236.800 square kilometers, around 70% its terrain is mountainous and reaching a maximum elevation of 2.820 m in Xieng Khouang province. The three highest mountains are all located in Xieng Khouang province, Phou Bia 2.820 m, Phou Xao 2.600 m, Phou Xamxum 2.620 m, (Phou is the word for mountain). The major part is forested.

The Mekong River flows through 1.865 km of Laos’s territory and forms a natural border with Thailand (1.500 km) in some areas. In the south the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 km, creating an area with thousand of islands.

POPULATION

In 2015 the estimated population of Laos was 5.9. million, comprising 68 ethnic groups, each with there own customs, dialect and customs. These are divided into three main groups, Lao Loum (lowland’s) who live along the river valleys, the Lao Theung (upland’s) who live on the mountain plateaus and smaller hills and the Lao Soung (hill tribes) who live in the highest mountains.

Eighty-five percent of the national populations are farmers. A large proportion is a child. Because Laos is one of the few under populated nations of Asia, the government is encouraging repopu-lating.

CLIMATE & CLOTHING

The dry and cool season begins end of October and lasts end of February. It starts with cool and pleasant weather until end of February and even with cold temperatures at night in the mountainous areas. It is necessary to take along a pullover or jacket during the cool season, at nights can be very cold, especially in the mountainous areas such as Luang Prabang, Xieng Khouang, Saravane and Houei Xay.

The hot season lasts from March to June and light cotton and hats are recommended. March to June is very good season for trekking in mountainous areas or for visiting minority villages and for soft ad-venture tour in Laos.

The rainy season starts in June ends in October with more rain in July and August (mostly at night or for a short time in the daytime). During the rainy season an umbrella is more convenient than a rain-coat.

Light – weights washable cottons- or cotton blend-clothes are the best. A sweater or a coat may be needed for the winter and in upland areas, comfortable walking shoes, hat and sunglasses are essen-tial.

RELIGION

Most Lao people are Buddhists, but all religions are accepted. Temples are called Wat and are the centers of village communities throughout the country, serving as meeting places, schools, play-ground for children and occasional fairgrounds as well as places of worship and monasteries. There are three main styles of Lao Wat, according to geographic region and some ancient and famous temples have survived in places.

LANGUAGE

The official language of Laos is Lao. It is spoken in different parts of the country. The Vientiane dialect is understood throughout the country. In spit of the colonial past, French remains the second official language. English is common use among business sectors and young generations. Also German and Russia language are spoken.

Visa

Visitors traveling to Laos for the purpose of tourism need a visa. This has to be arranged by Dok Champa Travel Co. or a foreign Tour Operator who has a contact with a lawful body, for example Lao Boutique Travel Co. Formalities are completed within three working days, after we have received following information by fax, mail or e-mail.

  1. Full name                 2. Date of birth                        3. Occupation
  2. Nationality                5. Passport number                6. Date of arrival
  3. Port of entry            8. Place where the visa will be issued

A tourist visa can be issued in one of the Laos embassies abroad or upon by arrival Vientiane Wattai airport, Luang Prabang airport and at Friendship bridge. It is valid for 15 days and can be extended for another 15 days. Visa obtained upon arrival is quoted 30 US $. However the procedure of getting of visa will be changed from time to time. So, for actual information please do not hesitate to contact us.

How to get to Laos

  1. CATEGORIES OF
    VISA
    .
CATEGORIES DESCRIPTION VISA STATUS
1. Diplomatic visas
(A1)
Diplomatic visas are
issued to diplomats, consular officers, heads of the United Nations Agencies
and other International Organizations, and their dependents (spouse and
children) holding diplomatic passports.
Diplomatic visas
(A1) and official visas (A2) are exempted from visa fees. Multiple entry
visas may be obtained for a period of one year and may be renewed each year
until the assignment’s completion.
2. Official visas
(A2).
Official visas are issued to the Staff members of Diplomatic Missions, Consulates, United Nations Agencies and other International Agencies and their dependents (spouse and children) holding official passports.
3. Courtesy visas
(B1).
Courtesy visas are
issued to foreign experts and their dependents holding diplomatic, official
and ordinary passports performing assignments under bilateral cooperation or
grant assistance projects for the Government of Lao PDR.
Courtesy visa (B1)
are exempted from visa fees. Multiple entry visas may be obtained for a
period of six months and may be renewed every six months until the
assignment’s completion.
4. Business Visas
(B2).
Business visas are
issued to foreign experts performing assignments under projects provided by
loan agreements and as provided by employment contracts or project wards, to
experts and volunteers of Non-Governmental Agencies, experts in education and
medical sciences generating income for an agency, staff members of Diplomatic
Missions, General Consulates, the United Nations Agencies and other
international organizations holding ordinary passports from the countries or
from third countries, as well as foreign businesspersons.
Business visas (B2)
are subject to the payment of mandatory visa and service fees. Multiple entry
visas may be obtained for a period of one (1) year, six (6) months and three
(3) months and may be renewed every one (1) year, six- (6) months and three
(3) months until completion of assignments.
5. Visit visas (B3). Visit visas are
issued to foreign citizens holding ordinary passports and intending to visit
relatives working in the Lao PDR.
Visit visa (B3) are
subject to the payment of visa and service fees upon each travel in
destination to the Lao PDR. B3 category visas does not entitle its holder to
work or apply for multiple entry visas.
6. Tourist Visas:
(T).
Tourist Visas are
issued to foreign visitors for their excursion and enjoy sightseeing in Lao
the tourist visas valid for 15 days entering and staying permit in the
territory of the Lao PDR. Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao PDR
gives those tourist visas. At abroad or Lao authorities at the International
Check Points which have had full right obtain tourist visas upon arrival in
accordance with their stem employment prohibited.
7. Transit Visas:
(Tr.).
Transit visas are
issued to foreign visitors who transit through the Lao PDR. to third country
including their air tickets the Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao
PDR. at abroad has had full right obtain transit visas with its two voyages
and stem “Employment prohibited” Those visas are allowed to stay
permit in the Lao PDR. for the period 7 days only.

III. VISA AND IDENTITY
CARD APPLICATION PROCEDURES.

 

  1. Diplomats, Consuls,
    Heads of International Agencies and their dependents (spouses and children) holding diplomatic or official passports and whose assignments in the Lao PDR, which performance would exceed thirty (30) days, have been approved, will be required to apply for visas from Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao PDR according to procedures provided under bilateral agreements. Upon their entry to the Lao PDR, the relevant foreign agency shall apply for identity card and multiple entry visas from the Protocol Department and the Department of Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respectively.
  2. Foreign experts of
    different categories and volunteers, together with their dependents, holding official or normal passports whose assignments in the Lao PDR, which performance would exceed thirty (30) days, have been approved, are required to obtain visas from Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao PDR. Upon their entry, the international organization or Lao line agency concerned shall apply for identity cards and multiple entry visas from the relevant departments.
  3. Diplomats, staff
    members of Consulates and International Agencies, foreign experts and volunteers entering the Lao PDR under visit visas (B3) without going through the requisite procedures will not benefit from facilities in performing their. In order to perform their assignments, they will be required to leave the territory of the Lao PDR for the purpose of obtaining the required visa categories from Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao PDR before re-entering the country.
  4. Diplomats, staff
    members of Consulates and International Agencies, foreign experts and volunteers based abroad and whose assignments, which performance would require a timeframe not exceeding thirty (30) days, have been approved, may obtain a fifteen (15) days visa upon arrival to Wattay International Airport or Friendship Bridge in Vientiane Municipality, as well as at the Luang Prabang International Airport.
  5. Diplomats, consular
    officers, staff members of the International Agencies, foreign experts and volunteers performing assignments in the Lao PDR may invite parents, relatives and friends for visits in the Lao PDR for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days. Such period of time maybe extended twice under B3 visas.
  6. Diplomatic
    missions, General Consulates, International Agencies and non-governmental organizations to the Lao PDR will not be authorized to recruit foreign experts or volunteers who have completed their assignments under a project and seeking further employment under other projects at will without due process in line with the procedures or regulations outlined by the Lao authorities.

TWO CATEGORIES OF INTERNATIONAL CHECK POINTS IN LAO PDR.

Those International
Check Points are allowed to the Lao citizens, overseas, foreigners citizens who holding passport in accordance with its stem visas are given by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao PDR at broad for entry and exit the country.

The first categories of the International Check Points can be able facilities for travelers who already have had stem visas only, But they have no full right to obtain the visas upon arrival the check points consists of 11 the International Check Points
as below:

  1. Houayxay (Lao) – Xiengkhong (Thai)
  2. Thakhek (Lao) – Nakhonphanom (Thai)
  3. Savannakhet (Lao) – Mukdahan (Thai)
  4. Vangtao (Lao) – Xongmek (Thai)
  5. Namphao (Lao) – Cautreo (Vietnam)
  6. Densavanh (Lao) – Laobao (Vietnam)
  7. Naphao (Lao) – Chalo (Vietnam)
  8. Boten (Lao) – Bohane (China)
  9. Namkane (Lao) – Namekane (Vietnam)
  10. Namsoue (Lao) – Nameo (Vietnam)
  11. Parksane (Lao) – Beungkane (Thai)

THE SECOND CATEGORIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL CHECK POINTS:

Those International Check Points are allowed to the Lao citizens, overseas, foreigners citizens who holding passport in accordance with its stem visas are given by Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Embassies or General Consulates of the Lao PDR at broad for entry and exit the country. Besides, the second categories of the International Check Points have had full right to obtain the visas upon arrival (visa fee 30 US$) at the three International Check Points as below:

  1. Wattay International Airport.2. Louang Prabang International Airport.
  1. Friendship Bridge
  2. Pakse airport

 

HEALTH

No vaccinations are presently required. But malaria prophylaxis is recommended.

The government mostly operates medical and dental facilities. Private clinics and pharmacies are available in the major cities. The International Clinic is operated under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, to accommodate foreigners and diplomats. Medicine from France, U.S.A., Russia, Thailand and China are widely available in most pharmacies.

ELECTRICITY

Electricity is available in most cities for 24 hours, but in the remote areas from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. only.  It is recommended to carry a flashlight. Voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz.

IMPORTANT NOTE

– Credit card is availeble only in vientiane and Louang Prabang.

– Travel check will be chargeb 1% comission.

-Jacket will be needed during november – january

– rain coat will be handy during june – october

– mosquito repellant, torch, sun cream are recommanded

 

 

National Currency : Kip
Time : GMT+7
IDD : Country Code : 856
Area Code :
Vientiane Capital 21
Vientiane Province 23
Champasak Province 31
Saravanh Province 34
Attapeu Province 36
Xekong Province 38
Savannakhet Province 41
Khammouane Province 51
Borikhamxay Province 54
Xiengkhouang Province 61
Houaphan Province 64
Luang Prabang Province 71
Xayaboury Province 74
Oudonxay Province 81
Borkeo Province 84
Luang Namtha Province 86
Phongsaly Province 88
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