|Asterism Travels & Tours - Myanmar||Laos, the mountainous scenic country on the northern border of Thailand|
Laos travel information
Provinces of Laos
1 = Phongsali
2 = Luang Namtha
3 = Bokeo
4 = Oudomxai
5 = Luang Prabang
6 = Huaphan
7 = Xayabouri
8 = Xieng Khouang
9 = Vientiane province
10 = Vientiane prefecture
11 = Saysomboune
12 = Borikhamsay
13 = Khammouane
14 = Savannakhet
15 = Saravan
16 = Sekong
17 = Champasak
18 = Attapeu
M = Mekong river
Laos is a land-locked country surrounded by China in the north, Vietnam in the north and east, Myanmar in the west, Thailand in the south and west, and Cambodia in the south. Laos has total land area of about 70,000 square kilometers most of which are hills. The eastern part is a mountain range from north through the south forming headwaters and watersheds for the rivers which flow into the flat terrain in the west and finally into the Mekong river. Mekong river serves as Laos border with Myanmar and Thailand for the most part, and is an important transport route in the region. The country is divided into 17 provinces and a municipality.
Time in Laos is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +7)
Climate is similar to those of Myanmar and Thailand. Rainy season from early June till early November, Cool season from November to February, and hot period from February to June. In Vientiane province (and Vientiane municipality) the highest and lowest mean temperatures recorded between 1998 and 2003 are 38ºC (April mid-day) and 18ºC (January morning) respectively.
Official language is Lao which is very similar to local Thai used in the north-eastern Thailand (called Easern). English is fairly understood in the cities. Some older people could speak French.
Laos money is Kip. US$, Thai Baht and other major currency could be changed into Kip in most cities. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels.
1998 estimate is 5 millions of which more than 65% are Buddhists.
Electricity and telecommunications
Laos uses 220 Volt, 50 Cycles electricity. International phone and fax calls can be made at hotels, resorts and telecommunication offices. There are internet outlets in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and a few other cities.
Country code : 856
Area codes are Vientiane : 21, Luang Prabang : 71, Pakse : 31, Xieng Khouang : 61, Khammouane : 51, Oudomsay : 81, Savannakhet : 41.
Entry and exist points
Visa on arrival can be obtained at the airports and Lao-Thai friendship border bridge in Vientiane prefecture.
Vientiane (Head Office): 021 212 520
Wattay International Airport: 021 512 012
Khau Midthaphap (Friendship Bridge): 021 812 040
Luang Prabang International Airport: 071 252 337, 252 583
Passport and visa
All visitors need a valid passport and visa to enter Laos. Thais, Vietnamese and Chinese can enter to the provinces with which they have border check points without passport and visa for a day. Thirty days tourist visas can be obtained at Laos embassy or consulate located in the countries such as Australia, France, Russia, Sweden, USA, Poland, Germany, Cuba, Japan, Singapore, Mongolia, Brunei, Philippines, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Tourist visa can be extended at immigration offices.
Highway network is still not yet properly developed in Laos, but it has been improved. Most cities are linked by car roads, and there are river transport available throughout the country though they are not a very convenient way and are dependent on seasons. Laos aviation serves several cities in Laos.
Phone numbers at the airports with city phone codes in brackets
A departure tax of 10 US$ is levied for international flights while 5,000 Kips is levied for domestic flights.
Offices in Vientiane of airlines with regular flights to and from Laos
Lao Airlines: +856-21-212 057 ~ 8
Thai Airways International: +856-21-253 253
Bangkok Airways: +856-21-222 528 ~ 9
Vietnam Airways: +856-21-217 562
China Yunnan Airlines: +856-21- 212 300