Laos travel guide

Laos Tourism | Laos Guide

You're Going to Love Laos

Ethnically diverse and with unforgettable natural landscapes, Laos is perhaps one of the most authentic countries in Asia where rural life is still alive and well.

What to do in Laos

1. Experience Luang Prabang

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang is one of the top destinations in Laos and is famous for its countryside appeal, royal palaces, and dozens of temples.

2. Visit the Ancient Wat Sisaket

Perhaps one of the most famous temples in Laos, this 18th-century building houses thousands of Buddha sculptures and is a beautiful example of local religious architecture.

3. Shop at Unmissable Markets

Even if you're just browsing, it's impossible to feel indifferent in one of the dozens of markets in Laos. Luang Prabang has two of the must-visit markets: the Handicraft Night Market and the Morning Market.

4. Explore Vientiane

Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is a vibrant mix of cultural influences that will entertain you for houses. From French-inherited café culture to going on a tuk-tuk safari, there are dozens of ways to get under the skin of the city.

5. Discover Local Cuisine in Savannakhet

One of the most authentic places in Laos to taste local cuisine is Savannakhet, from breakfast to dinner.

1. Experience Luang Prabang

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang is one of the top destinations in Laos and is famous for its countryside appeal, royal palaces, and dozens of temples.

2. Visit the Ancient Wat Sisaket

Perhaps one of the most famous temples in Laos, this 18th-century building houses thousands of Buddha sculptures and is a beautiful example of local religious architecture.

3. Shop at Unmissable Markets

Even if you're just browsing, it's impossible to feel indifferent in one of the dozens of markets in Laos. Luang Prabang has two of the must-visit markets: the Handicraft Night Market and the Morning Market.

4. Explore Vientiane

Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is a vibrant mix of cultural influences that will entertain you for houses. From French-inherited café culture to going on a tuk-tuk safari, there are dozens of ways to get under the skin of the city.

5. Discover Local Cuisine in Savannakhet

One of the most authentic places in Laos to taste local cuisine is Savannakhet, from breakfast to dinner.

When to visit Laos

Laos in May
Estimated hotel price
₹ 395
1 night at 3-star hotel
Laos in May
Estimated hotel price
₹ 395
1 night at 3-star hotel

Weather wise, the best time to visit is between November and March, when temperatures are milder. One of the top events in Laos, the festival Bun Pha That Luang, happens in Vientiane in November.

How to Get to Laos

Entry requirements

A visa on arrival is issued to all citizens upon entering Laos and is valid for stays of up to 30 days.

Citizens from Russia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, and South Asian countries don't need a visa to enter Laos.

Plane

Laos is served by four international airports: one in Vientiane (Wattay International Airport) and the other three in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse.

If you're traveling to Laos from outside of Asia, you'll most likely have a layover in Bangkok.

Train

There is a regular train connection between Nong Khai in Thailand and Tha Naleng in Laos, near Vientiane. Considering that the train station isn't in the capital city center, this might not be the best option for all travelers.

Car

Thailand and Vietnam have the most land border crossings if you're considering entering Laos by land. Practically all of them issue visas on arrival.

You can only bring a car to Laos from Cambodia or Thailand.

Bus

There are regular buses connecting the neighboring countries to Laos.

You can enter Laos by bus from Cambodia (Stung Treng, Phnom Penh, and Kratie), and several towns in China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Entry requirements

A visa on arrival is issued to all citizens upon entering Laos and is valid for stays of up to 30 days.

Citizens from Russia, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, and South Asian countries don't need a visa to enter Laos.

Plane

Laos is served by four international airports: one in Vientiane (Wattay International Airport) and the other three in Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse.

If you're traveling to Laos from outside of Asia, you'll most likely have a layover in Bangkok.

Train

There is a regular train connection between Nong Khai in Thailand and Tha Naleng in Laos, near Vientiane. Considering that the train station isn't in the capital city center, this might not be the best option for all travelers.

Car

Thailand and Vietnam have the most land border crossings if you're considering entering Laos by land. Practically all of them issue visas on arrival.

You can only bring a car to Laos from Cambodia or Thailand.

Bus

There are regular buses connecting the neighboring countries to Laos.

You can enter Laos by bus from Cambodia (Stung Treng, Phnom Penh, and Kratie), and several towns in China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Popular airlines serving Laos

Lufthansa
Good (4,692 reviews)
KLM
Good (837 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,235 reviews)
Air France
Good (984 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,113 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,406 reviews)
Finnair
Good (839 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (932 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (839 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (536 reviews)
Malaysia Airlines
Good (188 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Excellent (955 reviews)
China Eastern
Good (64 reviews)
China Southern
Excellent (34 reviews)
Thai Airways
Good (209 reviews)
Asiana Airlines
Excellent (271 reviews)
Vietnam Airlines
Good (133 reviews)
Garuda Indonesia
Excellent (47 reviews)
Scoot
Good (251 reviews)
EL AL
Good (345 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Laos

In top tourist destinations like Luang Prabang and Vientiane, it's easy to find a large range of accommodation types, from budget-friendly hostels to more expensive hotels. Elsewhere in the country, guesthouses are more common.

Where to stay in popular areas of Laos

Most booked hotels in Laos

Crowne Plaza Vientiane
5 stars
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
₹ 9,092+
Muong Thanh Luxury Vientiane Hotel
5 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
₹ 6,924+
Inthira Vang Vieng
3 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
₹ 5,422+
Somerset Vientiane
4 stars
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
₹ 4,171+
S Park Design Hotel
4 stars
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
₹ 2,419+
Family Boutique Hotel
3 stars
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
₹ 2,253+

How to Get Around Laos

Public Transportation

Outside Vientiane, where you'll find a reasonable network of buses to get around, the most common means of public transportation are tuk-tuks.

Bus

Long-distance buses in Laos are usually geared towards tourists and include special amenities like air conditioning.

Converted trucks known as "sorngtaaou" are a cheaper option usually used by locals or for shorter routes.

Car

To rent a car in Laos you'll need an International Driving Permit.

Compare prices before renting a car because it might be cheaper to rent one with a driver than driving around yourself.

Plane

Domestic flights in Laos are operated by local carriers Lao Airlines and Lao Skyway. Book flights as far in advance as possible if you're traveling during special holidays.

Public Transportation

Outside Vientiane, where you'll find a reasonable network of buses to get around, the most common means of public transportation are tuk-tuks.

Bus

Long-distance buses in Laos are usually geared towards tourists and include special amenities like air conditioning.

Converted trucks known as "sorngtaaou" are a cheaper option usually used by locals or for shorter routes.

Car

To rent a car in Laos you'll need an International Driving Permit.

Compare prices before renting a car because it might be cheaper to rent one with a driver than driving around yourself.

Plane

Domestic flights in Laos are operated by local carriers Lao Airlines and Lao Skyway. Book flights as far in advance as possible if you're traveling during special holidays.

The Cost of Living in Laos

ATMs are widely available but dispense large sums and bank fees vary. Credit card payments are accepted in the main cities at restaurants, hotels, and some shops. A couple of days of groceries costs around 200,000 LAK (22 USD). A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost around 23,823 LAK (2.70 USD).