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New 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 $3999 w/ Flights from $3499 Tour Only 16 days
per person, double occupancy*
See package dates

Fast Facts

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

Overview

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

Entry requirements

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Laos, which will be issued upon arrival. You must bring two passport-size color photos and $50 (exact change, U.S. dollars only) visa fee with you. Consult the U.S. Dept. of State website or the Laos Embassy website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

More information about passports & visas.

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There are no health requirements for entering Laos, however, it is highly recommended that you ask you doctor about obtaining malaria suppressants and possible vaccinations for hepatitis and typhoid. Bring along plenty of insect repellent and cover any wounds with a bandage. Seek medical aid if bitten by an animal.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

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

The local currency in Cambodia 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 abroad.

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. View more information 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? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

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