1 Do I need a visa? Yes, most visitors need a visa to visit Laos. Visas can be obtained on arrival at major points of entry and are valid for 30 days. You’ll need two passport-size photographs (in fact, it’s a good tip to carry a couple of these to any country you visit), a passport valid for at least six months, and US dollars to pay the fee. For more info, or to arrange your visa before you go, visit the Laos Embassy in Singapore.


How long will it take me to get there? Three hours from Singapore. Laos is 7 hours ahead of GMT


• Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It shares borders with China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar. • The Khone Pha Pheng waterfall, located in Champasak Province, is the largest waterfall in southeast Asia • The national sport using a rattan ball and feet instead of hands. • Laos was a French protectorate until 1954 (apart from one year when it was occupied by the Japanese towards the end of World War II). Many of the older population still speak French. • The Lao language is closely related to Thai. • The country houses the Vieng Xai Caves which are a network of about 450 shelter is kataw , similar to volleyball but

and 1 hour behind Singapore.

3 What’s the money situation? The official national currency in Laos is the Lao kip (LAK), although US dollars and Thai baht are also generally accepted. Try to ensure that you have sufficient kip if you’re heading out of the larger towns. You’re likely to find ATMs in all major towns in Laos, but note that the majority will allow only a maximum of 1,000,000 kip (US$125) per withdrawal. Only big hotels and higher end shops and restaurants in Luang Prabang will accept credit cards, usually for a small charge. When’s the best time to visit? December and January are considered the best time to travel, but November through March is also recommended. The dry, hot season is fromMarch through May, followed by the rainy season from May through October. September is generally the rainiest month of the year. 4

What’s the lingo? Lao. French and English are spoken in larger cities and tourist


spots. Here are some phrases to get you started: Hello Sa bai dee What is your name? Jâo seu nyãng? My name is __ Kháwy seu How much? Anh nee thao dai? Thank you Khawp jai Yes Jâo I don’t understand Koi boh kow jai

6 Is there anything I should know about meeting the locals? Place your hands together just below your chin and dip your head at the same time in a slight bow saying “Sa bai dee”. What’s a must-try dish? Laap (larb) , a salad with a meat base, flavoured with lime, garlic, fish sauce, mint leaves, spring onion and ground toasted rice. A vegetarian version is also an option, with a base of mushroom or tofu. 7

caves that were used during the Vietnam War.

What should I buy as a souvenir? Laos silk.



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