Laos is the only country in this central Asia without a coastline, but the mighty Mekong River more than makes up this deficit. Laos shares its borders with the countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and China. The capital city of Vientiane may be considered as the base in your Laos travel guide. The present borders of Laos owe its roots to the Lao prince, FaNgum, who established the kingdom of “LanXang” (Million Elephants).
Visa Rules for Visiting Laos
The citizens of the USA, England, Canada, Australia and other members of the European Union are exempted from prior visa application. All travelers require a valid passport for 6 months from the date of entry and passport-size photographs. They may stay for a period of 30 days upon payment of requisite visa-on-arrival fees at the points of entry into the country. Other travelers have to apply to local embassy of Laos in their country for visa approvals. You may also extend your Laos visa for another 60 days in the capital city.
Ideal Months for Visiting Laos
Laos has the distinct hot and wet season from May to September, the cold and dry season from October to March. The rainfall starts in the months of May and continues to get heavier until September. Being a hilly and mountainous region, the average temperature varies between 15°C to 40°C throughout the year. The best time to visit Laos is the dry season, which starts from October and continues till March. A light jumper or fleece jacket is ideal for the chilly mornings and evenings in Laos.
Destinations you Must Visit in Laos
Being ahilly and mountainous country, hiking and backpacking are two of the top things to do in Laos. This heavily forested country is also one the least populated ones in Asia. The Mekong River route has some beautiful tourist attractions in its path, which includes SaiPhan Don, an archipelago of about 4000 islands. You may want to visit the Pha That Luang, the beautiful ‘stupa’ of national importance. The city of LuangPrabang, the ancient capital of Laos, is a UNESCO World heritage site that may be included in the best places to visit in Laos.
Modes of Transportation within Laos
The capital city of Vientiane has a network of buses for traveling within the city. The various other transports include ‘sorngtaaou’, a type of bus that runs in most big and medium towns, the ‘jamboh’, three-wheeled auto-rickshaws, which carries 4-6 passengers. Taxis are the best solution to the problem of how to reach Laos tourist destinations. They may be booked on an hourly and full-day basis, but do negotiate the rates before traveling in them.
Local Cuisine and Hotels of Laos
While in Laos, you may sample the ‘larb’, the national dish. This is a spicy mixture of fish or meat which is marinated and eaten (sometimes raw) along with vegetables and herbs. Ping Kai (grilled chicken) and KhaoNiaw (sticky rice) are other popular dishes. The River Resort in Champasak or the Mandala Boutique Hotel in Vientiane offer ideal resting places during your journey in Laos.
The information mentioned above will help you to plan a fulfilling and joyous trip to Laos.