Laos travel tips
1.Best time to visit Laos
The greatest time to visit Laos is from October to April, when the weather is mild and dry all year long. The greatest time to go by river is between November and January, when the Mekong River, Laos’ principal waterway, has high water levels that make transit simple.
2.Do’s and Don’ts in Laos
When traveling in Laos, cash will be your best friend. With US$ 50 buying you a little over a million Laotian Kip, you become an instant millionaire the moment you arrive in Laos. Lao currency, the kip, is available in 50,000K, 20,000K, 10,000K, 5000K, 2000K, 1000K and 500K notes
Supplied at 220 volts AC. Two-pin sockets taking plugs with flat prongs are the norm.
Numerous cafés and many hotels and guesthouses in Vientiane and Luang Prabang now offer wi-fi – outside of these places wi-fi is limited to more upmarket accommodation and occasionally cafés in more touristy towns.
How to bargain in Laos?
Good bargains can be made when buying souvenirs in markets but not shopping malls that usually have price tags on commodities. The best tip is to lower the price about a half, or if you are still not satisfied, just walk away gently. You have the right to bargain but don’t be too greedy and tight-fisted.
There are some phrases which are useful for you to deal with shopping:
Tao Die: How Much?
Paeng lai: Too Expensive
Khop chai (lai lai): Thank you (so much)
What about the water?
The simple rule while travelling in Laos is not to drink river or tap water. Safe bottled water is available almost anywhere, though when buying, check that the seal is unbroken as bottles are occasionally refilled from the tap.
Dress and appearance
When in urban areas or visiting Buddhist monasteries or holy sites, visitors should refrain from outfits that would be more suited to the beach, especially should avoid wearing anything that reveals too much skin or could be conceived of as provocative – this includes shorts and sleeveless shirts. Footwear must be removed upon entering private homes, certain Buddhist monastery buildings or any living space.
To enter Laos for tourism purposes, citizens of the following countries are able to travel in Laos without a visa.
Brunei (14 days), Cambodia (30 days), Indonesia (30 days), Japan (15 days), Luxembourg (15 days), Malaysia (30 days), Mongolia (30 days), Myanmar (14 days), Philippines (30 days), Russia (30 days), Singapore (30 days), South Korea (15 days), Switzerland (15 days), Thailand (30 days) and Vietnam (30 days).
Other countries need to have a Laos visa (Visa on Arrival / E-visa) before entering the country and can be applied by the below link: https://laoevisa.gov.la
When you start to apply or after receiving your E-visa, kindly take time to double check and make sure all the information in the E-visa are exactly with the information in your passport and in your international flight (Ex: full names, number of passport, date of expiry, date of birth, gender, period of entry Laos, name of airport/City when entering Laos, etc.)
4.Popular local foods in Laos
On religious holidays, Laotians frequently prepare unique sticky rice meals. People eat a lot of sticky rice and believe that they eat more sticky rice than any other country. They also called themselves “luk khao niaow” – “children of glutinous rice.” It is believed that the sticky rice should be soaked in water overnight before cooking the next morning, then transferred to a container with a lid and placed in a saucepan with heated water. That’s why it’s so sticky and tasty.
Originally from Luang Prabang, Or Lam is a fiery stew that includes vegetables such as beans, eggplant, lemongrass, cinnamon, wild mushrooms, herbs, chile, and Mai Sakaan (a spicy, locally grown plant) as its key components. Considering how fibrous they are, you can chew Mai Sakaan to savor the flavor and then throw away the pulp. To boost the flavor of this meal, it can also be prepared using various types of meat, such as beef, chicken, or buffalo. Lao sticky rice can be served alongside this meal.
When visiting Laos, you cannot forget to discover a specialty dish called “Larb” (also known as minced meat salad) in the local eateries. The meal is cooked with minced pork and is garnished with mint, cilantro, and green onions as well as fish sauce, lemon, and chili. The people of the nation with millions of elephants believe this to be the “national real” food, and they frequently share it during Tet.
Sai Oo-ah (Sai Ua)
Sai Oo-ah (Sai Ua) is one of those Lao meals that will have you ordering a second plate as soon as you finish the first. According to numerous food bloggers, this is “worth your time coming to Laos just to try this dish.” Tourists refer to Sai Oo-ah as fried/grilled sausage, which has a sweet and oily flavor. When served hot, this meal is ideally served on a banana leaf.
Tam Mak Hoong
The meal Tam Mak Hoong, commonly known as papaya salad, is remarkably comparable to Son Tam in Thai cuisine and has the ideal balance of all flavors — spicy, sour, salty, and sweet. Green mango, green banana, and other ingredients, sliced or thinly sliced, combined with seasonings such as fish sauce, chile, lemon, salt, and sugar. Many locations additionally combine additional items, such as seafood.
Lao style beef jerky is a snack that is frequently eaten with beer. However, it is also available for lunch with rice. Sien Savanh is produced with beef (or buffalo) that has been marinated in a mixture of garlic, fish sauce, ginger, sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and black pepper before being sun-dried. Locals prefer to cook this meal over an open fire for a smokey taste, and it is best eaten with sticky rice or dipped in jeow mak len (a tomato and chilli pepper dipping sauce).