10 Tips For Travel In Laos
If you’re ready for an adventure, here are 10 tips for travel in Laos. This is one of the lesser known countries in Asia, but it can provide a variety of wonderful adventures for the willing traveler. Although many consider it another version of Thailand, Laos has a unique culture and history.
- Travel Documents. You will need to have a valid passport that does not expire until at least six months after your arrival. If your trip to Laos is less than two weeks, you can get a Visa upon arrive for a small fee. If you plan on a longer trip, contact the embassy before you leave home.
- Immunizations. Check with your doctor before you go to Laos to see if you need any special immunizations before you go, based on your personal medical background. To avoid getting sick while you’re traveling, don’t eat food from street vendors.
- Timing. Most Westerners go to Laos during November to February to enjoy a warm break from colder areas in the Northern Hemispheres. Make sure you plan you visit to enjoy the weather you’re seeking.
- Transportation. If you plan to stay in just one city, you can get around by walking. For moving between cities, there are numerous public buses and water taxis available at cheap prices.
- Money. The national currency is the kip, however, the US Dollar is widely used, along with the Thai baht. Credit cards are rarely used other than at hotels and restaurants. Plan to bring cash and travelers checks and carry them on a money belt.
- Places to Stay. There are numerous hostels and hotels where you can stay while visiting Laos. Prices range from eight dollars per day to eighty dollars per day. Cheaper accommodations usually feature shared restrooms and minimal amenities.
- Lao Lao. If you enjoy drinking, try Lao Lao, a local rice whiskey. It is made throughout the country with various methods.
- Traditional Food. Many traditional dishes feature sticky rice as the base, and are expected to be eaten with the fingers after a meal is served family style. Each guest has their own bowl of sticky rice, and then ads bits of each main dish. Many foods exhibit a French influence, left over from the colonial era.
- Dress. Overall, Laotians tend to dress conservatively. To avoid problems, do not wear any revealing clothing. Wearing lightweight cotton clothing preserves modesty and prevents bug bites.
- Pointing. Using one’s finger to point is considered rude in Laos. When possible, gesture with the palm of your hand.
Now that you have the basics, spend some time getting ready for your trip to Laos to experience South Asian culture. With a little bit of planning and a sense of adventure, you can have a great time. Remember, before you leave home to tell at least one person of your travel plans.