Laos Travel: What to Expect When Traveling to Laos

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Tourists visit royal palace national museum in Luang Prabang

Whether you’re traveling to Vientiane, Laos or going on vacation in Laos somewhere else, we answer your questions. Where is Laos, and what does travel cost?

Laos is a truly stunning country to visit and one that more and more people are starting to consider as a vacation destination.

Where is Laos? Why is the Laos travel industry starting to boom, and what are some of the best things to do? In this guide, we’re exploring a lot of the top travel tips and what to expect when traveling to Laos for a vacation.

Best Time to Travel to Laos

Laos is hot, and you can’t exactly go and chill out on the beach as the country is landlocked. This means that there is no coastline, though lovers of the water can enjoy plenty of water activities on the Mekong River. The Mekong has high water levels and excellent travel through the months of November, December, and January. The weather will be a little cooler through this time. Any time between October and April, the heat is a little more manageable.

In the months of June, July, and August, the temperature can be incredibly hot. You can travel to the country at this time, of course, but it might not be the best idea if you struggle with the heat.

Women wear xauv necklaces as part of traditional Hmong dress.

Laos Culture

Laos culture is generally very laid back and centers around some of the pleasures of life. Good food and good company are a massive part of the culture, and people tend to look after one another and be very friendly.

The people in Laos tend to be Buddhist, with around 67% identifying as following the religion, and this means there are a huge number of temples and stunning monuments and shrines. The religion of the country doesn’t provide any strict rules for tourism, and as long as you are sensitive and respectful, you should have a great time.

Weddings, get-togethers, family events and fun takes priority over work for the majority of people in Laos, which is great for tourism and means there is always fun to be had. Laos also has a relatively low crime rate for the area, but sometimes tourists can be the subject of crime due and the target of theft and burglary, so it is important to be aware of this and keep your wits about you.

Locals and tourists alike participate in the morning almsgiving ceremony in Luang Prabang (Evensong Film)
Locals and tourists alike participate in the morning almsgiving ceremony in Luang Prabang (Photo: Evensong Film)

Vientiane and Luang Prabang: Best Places to Visit in Laos

Luang Prabang is also one of the most beautiful locations, and it is known for stunning Buddhist temples and monasteries. Monks from the monasteries in the city join together and walk through the city every single morning, which makes for an astonishing sight.

If you love nature and animals, then Laos can also be a perfect location to visit. Animal experiences include the option to see elephants and gibbons and spend time in nature. The flora and fauna of the country are also very interesting. Tigers, sun bears, and flying squirrels are among the animal species.

Vientiane is the capital of Laos and has some remarkable sights to see. It mixes Buddhist temples with some French-influenced architecture that comes from colonial French history. Wat Si Muang is an amazing Hindu shrine, and the city has many markets, shrines, religious buildings and stunning boulevards and streets that look like they come straight from Paris.

The symbol of Laos is Pha That Luang which you will find in Vientiane. This is a stupa that dates all the way back to the 16th century. Legend has it, the ashes of Buddha are within. It is well worth a visit as it is truly beautiful.

If you are looking to make a vacation video, then places like Vientiane and Luang Prabang are perfect for this. They are visually stunning.

 

How in-depth you go with your travel video is up to you, many people will buy new equipment and create a stunning vacation video, but if you don’t fancy yourself as much of a videographer but still want to create a great memory of your trip, your phone will shoot some great footage, and a simple video joiner can help to edit it into a simple video.

Lao kip in a wallet

Expenses

What are some of the possible expenses when visiting Laos? Well, there are a lot of different things to do, and you may want to think about tickets and passes for events and tourist attractions.

On the whole, though, Laos is a very affordable country. It is worth noting that the currency, the bills for things, can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of LAK. This is because the value of each LAK is absolutely tiny.

For example, a slow boat along the Mekong, a chance to see one of the most beautiful sights that the whole of Laos and even Asia has to offer will cost about 1,000,000 LAK (yes, that really is one million) Luckily, this is the equivalent of about $110-120 USD.

By the standards of America and much of Europe, Laos is incredibly cheap. A meal in a relatively cheap restaurant could cost you about $2, and a beer may be just $1 depending on where you visit. Even in the center of the big city, there are plenty of affordable locations to visit.

A guest house can be as cheap as $10 a night, and luxury hotels can be affordable too at a cost of around $80 a night. For this reason, Laos is one of the best places for vacations and tourism for students and people that are on a gap year.

Summary

Laos ticks a lot of boxes for people who want to vacation in Asia. Getting there from Europe or the US can be costly, but the cost of living is relatively low and both the wildlife, and the stunning cities, provide some fantastic sights for tourists to see and enjoy while they explore this Asian gem.