Laos Laos

Travel Guide

Saffron-robed monks at outstanding temples, movie-like scenery, and silky blue waterfalls – Laos is made for adventurers.

Map of Laos

Map of Laos

Weather in Laos

Laos has a nice tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season runs from mid-October to April, with the latter months being the hottest. The monsoon period (May-Oct) brings rain and humidity, but daily showers are usually short.

Hello / Greetings:Sabaidi
Thank you: Khob chai
Excuse me: Kho a phai

As the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Laos is famous for its amazing scenery, local villages, and unexplored lands. From stunning mountains and powerful rivers to lush rice paddies and spectacular waterfalls, there are many incredible places to visit in Laos that make it worth a trip.

Your budget stretches far for travel in Laos, as it remains a cheap country to visit. Although there are some more luxurious options for accommodation and restaurants, you can find delicious food for as low as $2 and stay in vibrant hotels for an average price of $38.

While there is enough water supply, it’s often not of high quality for daily use. Because of this, you can get purified water from most convenience stores and supermarkets. For an eco-friendly option, bring a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter system or fill up at restaurants with filtered water.

To travel to Laos, you’ll need to apply for an e-visa. This visa permits travelers to stay in Laos for 30 days and normally costs between 45 – 60 USD, depending on your country of residence. The visa is valid for a single entry only, and your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your journey ends.

Lao, also called Laotian, is the official national language of Laos and one of the Tai languages of Southeast Asia. However, there are more than 80 languages spoken throughout the country. English is also widely spoken, as is French, due to its past, allowing you to connect with the friendly locals.

Travel insurance is your safety net for all your travels, allowing you to enjoy your holiday in Laos with peace of mind. From unexpected medical expenses to lost luggage, it ensures a worry-free trip.

Laos is very safe to travel in, and people are exceptionally friendly. Crime levels are low, although some petty theft does happen. For this reason, carry your valuables with you, especially on buses.

Laos seems to have almost every type of power plug to connect to the electricity: Type A, B, C, E, and F. Type A has two rectangular pins, Type B has two rectangular and one round pin, Type C, E, and F all have round pins but different extra’s (earth clip, etc.). Bring or buy an adapter to charge your devices.

Its dense forests, stunning plains, and rugged mountains is what brings nature lovers to this corner of the world. But there’s so much more: the ancient cultural attractions and the people make a vacation to Laos an incredible experience. 

Travel to Laos

This serene jewel in Southeast Asia is the perfect destination for adventurers, slow travelers, and cultural enthusiasts. From the mystical Plain of Jars full of ancient stories to turquoise pools amidst the lush jungles and cities with saffron-robed monks and elegant temples. With such a pristine landscape and rich culture, there are so many great things to do in Laos. Explore waterfalls, go trekking, or soak up the country’s history together with the locals – Laos is one of the few truly exotic travel destinations in the world.

How to Plan Your Trip to Laos

Use our Laos travel guides to plan your perfect trip! Drive through bright green rice paddies or explore empty jungle roads, only stopping to gaze at the forested cliffs above. In between these luscious northern mountains, you’ll find UNESCO towns like Vang Vieng – the perfect outdoor playground and one of the best things to do in Laos

Check out our complete 10-day Laos itinerary or browse our informative travel guides.

Best Time to Visit Laos

Each season in Laos comes with a different climate, leaving the choice of the best time to visit up to you. 

Dry season (Nov- Feb): The cool and dry season is usually travelers’ favorite time to visit Laos. With temperatures between 20 – 25 degrees Celsius, it’s the most comfortable. Explore the ancient temples of Luang Prabang or cruise down the Mekong River. During the festive period, you’ll also see many boat races and lanterns being lit. 

Hot season (March-April): Between the dry and the wet season, temperatures soar above 30 degrees, bringing hot air to many regions. However, the sun colors Laos in beautiful golden hues, making it a good time to come for trekking in the mountainous north. 

Wet/green season (May-Oct): The weather in Laos and its scenery change when the wet season comes along. Landscapes transform into a lush, emerald green paradise, and waterfalls are powerful. While daily showers are common, they usually don’t last very long, making it a good time for budget travelers to travel to Laos.

Nature in Laos

As Laos lies landlocked between its neighbors, it doesn’t have any of the iconic Southeast Asia coastline or beaches. However, it boasts many other breathtaking nature scenes, from the mighty Mekong River to limestone peaks and jungle-covered mountains.

The country’s rugged nature makes it the perfect adventure playground. Trek down to powerful waterfalls and swim in beautiful turquoise pools below, or meander through the remote jungles with a guide, exploring protected areas. From verdant rice terraces on the northern mountains to the otherworldly limestone formations, hidden caves, and tranquil lagoons, Laos holds a unique charm when it comes to its natural beauty. This is a land where vibrant flora and fauna thrive.

Food, Culture, and Religion in Laos

The food and culture will quickly leave you in awe of Laos as you make your way through the country. Whether you’re backpacking, touring, or with an organized group, travel here is fulfilling. 

Food: The cuisine in Laos is a celebration of fresh ingredients paired with bold flavors. Try their spicy larb, a savory minced meat salad, or a green papaya salad, and pair it with sticky rice (a Lao staple). Coffee is also a popular product in Laos, and the aromatic khao ji blend is perfect to start the day with as you journey through the bustling morning markets. 

Culture: Laos’ culture is a treasure trove of beautiful traditions, art, and architecture. Wander through Luang Prabang’s historic streets, where saffron-robed monks collect alms at dawn and explore century-old temples. Alternatively, witness graceful dance ceremonies and participate in one of the country’s well-wishing rituals.

Religion: Buddhism holds a profound place in Laos’ spiritual landscape. Discover serene temples like Wat Phra That Luang (Laos’ national symbol) or Wat Sisaket with thousands of Buddha images. The population’s primary religion is Theravada Buddhism; however, there are also ethnic minority groups like the Hong that form Laos’ cultural tapestry.

Why You Should Travel to Laos

Travel to Laos is full of beautiful moments where time slows, nature reigns, and culture stands at the center. Explore a myriad of natural wonders, from cascading waterfalls to lush landscapes and many jungles. Spend your time in the northern mountains or discover the surreal Pha Tang Karst landscapes. 

In between, stop at UNESCO sites like Luang Prabang, where you can witness the timeless beauty of Lao towns and engage in lively well-wishing ceremonies. Stroll through Vientiane’s boulevards, where French architecture meets Buddhist temples, only stopping to indulge in an aromatic Lao coffee. 

Besides its incredible playground for adventure seekers, Laotians are very welcoming. Experience their genuine openness as you share a table hunched over a bowl of delicious sticky rice. Their appreciation of slow life adds to your vacation in Laos, creating an unforgettable journey.

Safety and Travel Advice in Laos

Laos is safe to travel in, and people are exceptionally friendly. Nevertheless, it’s always good to be up-to-date about recent events and developments in the country before your Laos vacation

Natural disasters: There are very few natural disasters in Laos, though the rainy season (May-Oct) does coincide with the typhoon season in Southeast Asia. During this time, mountains are more susceptible to landslides and rivers to flooding. Register your trip with the embassy to receive emergency updates during your trip.

Crime and safety in Laos: While Laos is generally safe, (petty) crime does occur. Minor theft, like bag snatching or pickpocketing, is more common in tourist areas and around ATMs. For this reason, carry your valuables with you, especially when traveling on buses, as there have been cases of tourists having things taken from their bags. Like any destination, we recommend avoiding isolated areas at night and sticking to well-lit spots with more people.

Learn more about travel safety

Landmines: Due to Laos’ history, there are still unexploded bombs in the countryside. Because of this, it’s absolutely essential to always stay on the paths when hiking and never pick up any metal objects. If you’re trekking, go with a guide. The risk is higher after landslides during the monsoon season.

Traffic: Road travel in Laos can be challenging. Roads and vehicles are often in poor condition, especially during the rainy season, and traffic regulations aren’t always enforced. Try traveling only during the day, wear a helmet (often have to buy one), and ensure you have travel insurance.

Outdoor activities: If you’re doing any tubing, climbing, or zip-lining on your holiday in Laos, always exercise caution and consider your safety. Though popular, travel on the Mekong River can be dangerous due to low water levels and sandbanks. Only undertake adventure sports with a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.

Travel Insurance: One of the things we always recommend for your trip to Laos is getting travel insurance. Whether it’s lost luggage or unforeseen accidents, travel insurance gives you peace of mind. This ensures you have a smoother and worry-free experience. 

Check out these best travel insurances