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How to get the cheapest flight to Laos

The flight from your country to the destination, Laos in this case, sometimes takes the biggest portion of your trip cost.

Searching the internet, you find plenty of website helping you compare the price to find the cheapest possible option, that really helps in some case.

But it is not that simple…

Sometimes, you search the same route, same date, same… everything, but the ticket price increases every 10 minutes when you refresh your search!!!

If you met the case before, this article is for you.

We make it all clear below.

When is the cheapest time to fly to Laos?

Logically, the cheapest time to fly to Laos is during the off-season from May until September. As there are not many tourists visiting the country, the airlines and hotels seem to offer promotion to attract more tourist and try to fill-up the plane. If you are ok with the heat and some sudden rain, this is the time for you.

According to cheapflights.com.au, the cheapest flights to Laos are usually found when departing on a Monday. The departure day with the highest cost is usually on a Friday.

Moreover, Laos flights can be made cheaper if you choose a flight at noon. Booking a flight in the morning will likely mean higher prices.

Simply follow this, sometimes you can have the promotion of 40-50% discount.

Wonderful!!!

Hold on, this sounds perfect, but it seems not always to be your case. We believe you want to see Laos at its best or you cannot change the tight travel schedule date.

Is there any chance to have the cheap price during high-travel or even peak-travel period???

The answer is yes!!! And it just requires a little plan ahead and simple skills to do so.

We will first need to know…

When is the best time to visit Laos?

The small, landlocked country of Laos is best visited between late October and early April, when the weather’s warm and dry throughout.

River travel is best between November and January, when high water levels make passage easy along Laos main waterway, the Mekong River. Visiting the Bolaven Plateau is also pleasant at this time of year.

Laos’ geography plays a major part in shaping its climate, and cool temperatures can still be found in the highlands, which lie mainly in northern, eastern and central regions.

The green season falls between late May and October, when the rains return to the country.

However, showers are usually short and sharp, having little impact on your exploration. At this time of year, the country comes to life, with waterfalls beginning to flow once more and the lush scenery attracting a variety of wildlife.

When is the cheapest time to buy the ticket for Laos?

Apart from spontaneous promotions, it is advisable to buy your tickets between 6 and 8 months in advance in order to enjoy the best possible price. Tickets are often cheaper than at the last moment and not necessarily more advantageous if you book too early, namely more than 1 year in advance.

Avoid buying your plane tickets on weekends and during the day or evening. Privilege, the middle of the week and late at night. When buying tickets online you should also make sure to activate the incognito feature of your browser to avoid getting tracked and therefore experience higher prices.

The high season for flights to Laos and more generally Southeast Asia is from October to Mars, during which period fares can be twenty percent higher than at other times of year. 

Off-peak periods are a good way to travel cheap. Moreover, thanks to its tropical climate, it is possible to enjoy the sun all year round even if you will experience more rainfalls.

You can also look at the Laos holiday calendar to avoid the crowds, especially during the Pi Mai New Year in April where prices are inflated.

9 tips for finding the cheapest flight to Laos

"Searching for airfare can often feel like going into battle - one in which only those armed with a lot of time on their hands win" said Brooke Porter Katz from Medium

Don't let them follow your footprints

Many times, when we try to search the flight for our clients or friends, the price would increase when we refreshed the search page.

Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. 

To avoid this, don’t let the website read your cookies. And the best way to do so is to delete all the cookies every time you close your browser. If there are no cookies, there is nothing to read.

Here is how to delete your cookies with some popular web browsers: https://www.purevpn.com/blog/how-to-delete-cookies-at-browser-exit/

Book in advance

If you know when and where you're going, don't wait on an unknown sale. More often than not, your biggest savings come from booking far ahead when you can.

As mentioned above, it is better to book the ticket in advance, about 5-6 months before.

Choose the low-cost airlines instead of the full-services airlines

Budget airlines offer significantly cheaper tickets than their full-service counterparts. It should be obvious, but this comes with compromises such as less leg room and no “free” food/drink on-board (which by the way, is normally covered in your higher-priced ticket with full-service airlines).

NOTES ON BOOKING BUDGET AIRLINES.

Always read the fine print and do the following:

  • Check where the airport location is (some budget airlines fly to airports further out of town).
  • Ensure you've booked & paid for your luggage allowance. Adhere to restrictions on weight, height, and # of bags allowed. Some airlines (e.g. Ryanair) will charge hefty fee if you're over. Remember, paying only for the exact luggage space/weight you need is how budget airlines keep their prices lower than traditional airlines!
  • Read the fine print. The best example is that Ryanair WILL CHARGE A FEE if you do not print your own ticket or adhere to their strict luggage weight and dimensions. A warning of this fee is clearly stated in all capital letters in the first sentence of your e-confirmation. In a nutshell, always read and follow instructions!

Remember, if you want to book the cheapest flight possible (not service-of-the-year-award-winner), be adaptable, do your research, and know the budget airline's requirements & restrictions.

2-way ticket or 2 one-way tickets?

Some website advises you to buy the round-trip ticket to save money for the way back home; some advises you to buy 2 one-way tickets separately even from different airlines and airports which may offer the promotion on both.

Our advice: do your research and find the best price for your travel plan. The booking engines now are very intelligent, it bases on the availability of the flight to set your price. 

Sometimes you can have the best price with a 2-way ticket; but the other times, you can enjoy the promotion on both 2 separate one-way tickets.

With a little effort, you can save 20-30% on your flight ticket. Is that worth a try?

Check the different departure airports and stopovers

Consider neighboring cities when selecting your departure as fares can vary quite a lot according to the airport: it might be worth the extra time even if it is not the closest airport to your home. 

Whether it be by choice or by obligation, stopovers allow you to move and forget the possible lack of comfort of the plane. It also represents a good opportunity to visit other cities without a mandatory visa through stopovers. 

When looking for indirect routes that include stopovers, we advise you to check the website kiwi.com which mixes and matches airlines in order to find the cheapest price. For long-haul flights especially, this can make a huge difference at the end.

Concerning the arrival airport, you will likely land in either Wattay in Vientiane or Luang Prabang which are the two main cities in Laos. In general, the cheapest flights to Laos will fly into Vientiane as it services more airlines. It is something to keep in mind when crafting your tour itinerary.

Find and buy your ticket online

The cheapest solution is to buy your plane ticket directly on the Internet and not at a physical travel agency available at your place to avoid extra costs.

Even with the online travel agencies, the price also varies among the different websites. So, our next tip is...

Compare the price with some online flight searching engines

The online flight searching engines will help you compare the price offered by different suppliers.

Here are the 3 best price comparisons websites:

  1. Skyscanner
  2. Google Flight
  3. Kayak

Do not forget to check the option: "flexible travel date" to find the best price for Cambodia. This option will allow you to estimate the price month by month.

Search for Airlines errors and sale fares

Airlines sometimes make mistakes when posting their fares, leading to seriously discounted flights. This can happen for various reasons – currency conversion mishaps, technical glitches, or human error. If you're in the know-how on where to find airline error fares, you can save yourself some serious bucks on a ticket.

Don’t try hidden city flight

Don’t be tempted to try a “hidden city” flight. That’s when you buy a connecting flight that goes through your desired destination and skip the final leg. Airlines keep track of travelers who do this and aren’t shy to ban folks. Plus, if you’ve booked it as a round trip, your return will automatically be canceled.

Which airlines operate flights to Laos?

Remember that no matter which airline you choose and which native English-speaking countries you are coming from, your route will necessarily include at least one stopover.

Once you arrived in the stopover city, usually Bangkok, you have two options for your connecting flight to Laos : 

  • Selecting the same airline as for the first part of your trip, providing that they also serve Laos airports. 
  • Using a different airline which frequently serve Laos airports, such as AirAsia or Lao Airlines. It is often a cheaper solution, but you should plan enough time between the two flights to avoid transit troubles.

From Australia

Flights from Australia to Laos are most convenient via Bangkok. The average journey time is around thirteen hours from Perth and sixteen hours from Sydney, depending on connections. 

Flights from Perth start at around US $600 while from Sydney count around US $750 for a round trip ticket. There are cheaper alternatives with China Eastern via Kunming, but it includes several stopovers that can make the trip trying.  

The low-cost airline Scoot has recently launched a new route to Laos with a stopover in Singapore at a very affordable price. It has only three flights a week but is an alternative to consider if you are flexible on the date.

From UK

Most flights from the UK to Laos will involve a change of plane at Bangkok. An alternative route is via Vietnam, though this requires a change of plane in France or Germany first. In total, flying to Laos from the UK will take at least fifteen and a half hours, though this varies greatly according to connection times. Flying with Thai Airways to Vientiane via Bangkok is usually the quickest option.

Because of the lack of direct flights, prices are generally high throughout the year. Expect to pay at least US $850 for a return ticket from London Heathrow, though prices often rise over US $1200 in high season. With flights to Bangkok alone significantly cheaper (US $550), it is worth considering travelling overland between the Thai capital and Vientiane by train.

From USA & Canada

Flying to Laos from North America usually involves two stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok if travelling from the west coast (San Francisco, Los Angeles or Vancouver). The shortest flight duration is roughly 19 hours and fares start at around US $1200. It is possible to reach Vientiane via a single stop in Seoul but you might wait a long time for your connecting flight.

From the east coast (New York, Chicago, Toronto), you should consider different options depending on the period of the year you intend to fly. It is possible to fly via Hong Kong and Bangkok but you can also opt for a route which stop first in Europe, and then reach Vientiane via Hanoi in Vietnam. Expect journey lengths of at least twenty-three hours and expect to pay upwards of US $1400 for a return ticket.

Recommended airlines for Sonasia Holiday travelers

Finally, to guarantee maximum satisfaction, here is the list of the 6 airlines recommended by our travelers during a trip to Laos:

  1. Thai Airways
  2. Vietnam Airlines
  3. China Eastern
  4. Scoot
  5. AirAsia

Extra: Getting to Laos from neighbor countries

Until now, there is no direct flights from Europe, Australia, or America to Laos. All of the tourists from those areas need to take the transit flights via Vietnam and Thailand. Hence, it is good to know how to get to Laos from these neighbor countries together with from Laos or Myanmar. 

In general, Laos has 4 international airports (Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse, and Savannakhet) and has border with Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, China, and Myanmar. Hence, you have the options to get to Laos via both flight and border crossing.

We will go through the way to get to Laos from each of its neighbor countries below.

From Vietnam

From Vietnam, you can get to Laos by 02 International airports and 08 International border crossings. Check the below map to see the location these places.

By flight

From Vietnam to Vientiane

There are 2 airports in Vietnam that have the flight to Vientiane

From Hanoi, you have the option with Vietnam Airlines and Laos Airlines. The flight takes about 1 hour and costs $100-140/ticket.

From Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam Airlines offers the daily flight to Vientiane, transiting in Phnom Penh (Cambodia), which will take about 3:30 minutes (including transiting time), and cost $150-180/ticket. 

There is also the option with Laos Airlines transiting in Pakse, but it is not the daily flight (about 3 flight per week during the high season). Please check the flight schedule again if you want to take the flight with Laos Airlines

From Vietnam to Luang Prabang

Though the tourist hub of Laos, there is not many flights from Vietnam to Luang Prabang. There is at least one direct flight from Hanoi, which operates by both Vietnam Airlines in Laos Airlines. The flight will take about 1 hour and cost $135-150/ticket.

If you depart from other cities in Vietnam, you need to take the transit flight in Hanoi or Vientiane.

From Vietnam to Pakse

There is even less choice of flight from Vietnam to Pakse. At the moment, there are about 3 flights per week operating by Laos Airlines. However, during the off season, Laos Airlines also stops this route as the low occupancy.

By bus

As Vietnam shares the longest border with Laos, there are several entry/exit points between the two countries. Laos-Vietnam bus service connects many cities/towns in the Laos and Vietnam crossing borders to/from several provinces. In general, there are 8 borders that have bus connecting Vietnam and Laos including Tay Trang, Nameo, Namkan, Cau Treo, Chalo, Lao Bao, Lalay, and Bo Y.

Check below for more detailed information about these above borders, from north to south.

1. Tay Trang / Sop Houn (Google Maps)

This border locates on the most northern part of the two countries hence it is suitable for the tourists who want to connect northern Laos (Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoi, Muang La,  Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, or Phongsaly) with northern Vietnam (Dien Bien, Tay Trang, Son La, Lai Chau, Sapa, Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Cao Bang, or Bac Kan). The route offers the most authentic parts of the two countries with evergreen nature beauties and colorful hill tribe people.

2. Na Meo / Nam Xoi (Google Maps)

This border connects Samneua province in Laos and Thanh Hoa province in Vietnam. Both 2 sides offer the very beautiful nature beauties and especially the serene countryside of Vietnam.
In Laos side, you can visit the famous Viengxai caves, and the wild Nam Et-Phoulouey NPA.

Arriving in Vietnam, it is the amazing Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Pu Hua Nature Reserve, and the colorful province of Hoa Binh, home to Hmong tribe people.

3. Nam Can / Nong Het (Google Maps)

This border crossing is more popular for local people. Tourists rarely use this border to connect the 2 countries. But if you do, this is the nearest border to go from Phonsavan (home to the mysterious plains of jars) to Nghe An (hometown of the great Uncle Ho of Vietnam)

4. Cau Treo / Nam Phao (Google Maps)

This is the most popular border crossing if you want to take the bus from Vientiane to northern part of Vietnam (Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, and Hanoi)

In Laos side, you have chance to visit Konglor cave, which is one of the most interesting caves in Laos locating inside the Phu Hin Bun National Park, which is the part of the famous Thakhek Loop.

5. Chalo / Naphao (Google Maps)

This border is not popular among the tourists visiting the two countries, but it is the very interesting and promising one.

In Laos side, it is the unexplored part of the country with series of complex caves system (said to be the longest). However, the poor basic infrastructure has been discouraging any further exploration.

In Vietnam side, it is the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park of Vietnam, which is long famous for the Phong Nha cave, and the newly discovered Son Doong cave.

6. Lao Bao / Dansavan (Google Maps)

This is the border crossing for the ones travelling from Laos to central Vietnam (Hue, Danang, Hoi An), which has some of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam (even the world).
In Laos side, the tourism does not touch this part at all. It is again because of the poor basic infrastructure. Moreover, some parts of the area are not opened to tourists yet (the part of Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos), which attracts many curious eyes from all over the world.

7. La Lay / Lalay (Google Maps)

This newly opened border crossing is the convenient way for the tourists who want to connect between central Vietnam (Hue, Danang, Hoi An) and southern Laos (Bolaven Plateau, Pakse, Wat Phou, Champasak, 4000 Islands)

Notice: You cannot apply for Visa on arrival to Laos via this border as there is not enough equipment. Hence, please get your Lao visa ready before getting on the bus. 

8. Bo Y / Phoukeua (Google Maps)

This border connects southern Laos (Bolaven Plateau, Pakse, Wat Phou, Champasak, 4000 Islands) with the central highland of Vietnam (Gia Lai, Kontum, or Pleiku), that is the most colorful part of the country. The area is like a different country in the country of Vietnam with quite unique history, culture, and religions, that promises the endless exploration.

From Thailand

You can get to Laos via 03 international airports with 02 airport in Bangkok and 7 international checkpoints. Below is the locations of these places on Google Maps

By flight

From Thailand to Vientiane

There are only direct flights from Bangkok to Vientiane with 7 departures per day operated by Lao Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Thailand Smiles, and Thai Airways. The flight takes more than 1 hour and cost $80/ticket with low-cost option and $130/ticket with full-service option.

From Thailand to Luang Prabang

From Bangkok, there are at least 4 departures per day to Luang Prabang with Lao Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Thai Smiles, or AirAsia. The flight takes about 2 hours and cost about $100/ticket with the low-cost airlines and $180/ticket with full-service airlines.

There is also the direct flight from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang with Lao Airlines and Bangkok Airways. The flight takes more than 1 hour and costs about $140-180/ticket.

From Thailand to Pakse

There is the direct flight from Bangkok to Pakse but quite limited. There are about 3 to 4 departures per week operated by Laos Airlines and cost about $130-150/ticket

From Thailand to Savannakhet

To get to Savannakhet, you need to take the transit flight via Vientiane or Pakse

By Bus

There are 7 international border gates between Laos and Thailand, 3 of them are very popular among tourists.

Chiang Khong / Huay Xay (Google Maps)

This border locates in the northern part of the two countries. Many tourists finish their exploration of northern Thailand before continuing further to Laos with the cruise along the mighty Mekong River to Luang Prabang, or vice versa.

Nong Khai / Vientiane (Google Maps)

This is the first border where they build the first bridge to facilitate the trading between the two countries, Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I. If you start your tour in Vientiane, you can take the flight from Bangkok to Udon Thani, then cross this border to Vientiane (70km from the airport), that is much cheaper than the direct flight from Bangkok to Vientiane.

Chongmek / Vang Tao (Google Maps)

This border connects Pakse and Ubon Ratchathani in Thailand. As mention above, you can cross this border to Laos side and after taking the domestic flight to from then continue your journey in the southern Laos.

Depending on your plan, you can also get to Laos via the below 4 international border gates:

  • Huaykon / Muang Ngeun (Nan - Xayabouly) (Google Maps)
  • Nakaxeng - Kenethao (Loei - Xayabouly) (Google Maps)
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge III (Nakhon Phanom - Thakhek) (Google Maps)From Cambodia
  • Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II (Mukdahan - Savannakhet) (Google Maps)

By train

There is only one train running from Thailand to Laos via the border gate in Nong Khai (Friendship Bridge 1). However, not many tourists choose this option. Most of them will cross the border by bus.

From Cambodia

Though there is quite limited option to get to Laos from Cambodia, it is still enough if you have the plan ahead.

Below is the map showing the 2 international airports and 1 border crossing where you can get to Laos from Cambodia

By flight

You can take the flight to Laos from Cambodia via the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

From Cambodia to Vientiane

There is only the option to fly from Phnom Penh to Vientiane with 1 departure per day operated by Vietnam Airlines. The flight will take 1 hour 20 minutes and cost $140-170/ticket.

From Siem Reap or Sihanoukville, you need to take the transit flight in Phnom Penh or Bangkok. 

From Cambodia to Luang Prabang

To get to Luang Prabang, it is more convenient if you depart from Siem Reap as there is the direct flight operated by Vietnam Airlines, which takes about 1 hour and a half and cost $150-180/ticket. 

Laos Airlines also operates this route, but their daily flight transits in Pakse. During the high season, there is some more extra direct flight with Laos Airlines in some busy days. You can check it flight schedule on their website.

From Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, you can choose to take the transit flight via Siem Reap, Bangkok, or Vientiane.

From Cambodia to Pakse

There is the daily direct flight to Pakse from Siem Reap (this flight then continues to Luang Prabang) operated by Laos Airlines. The flight will take about 1 hour and cost $110-130/ticket.

From Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville, you can take the transit flight via Siem Reap or Bangkok

By bus

There is only 1 border checkpoint between Laos and Cambodia at Veun Kham (Champasak) – Dong Kralor (Stung Treng). There are daily buses connecting Laos and Cambodia, from Vientiane, Pakse, 4000 Islands (Don Det) to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap through Stung Treng, Kratie and Kampong Cham. The service is provided by a Lao bus company and a Cambodian bus company in rotation basis.

Notice: it is a little complicated if you mean to take the bus from Siem Reap to Laos. To get to Vientiane, you need to change the bus 2 times. The first time is at Kampong Cham bus station, and the second time is at Pakse bus station.

From Myanmar

At the moment, there is no direct flight connecting Laos and Myanmar. The best way is to take the transit flight via Bangkok

Regarding the border crossing, the policy is still very confused. Some says it is opened to travelers, some says not. We recommend you avoid this border crossing until there is clearer information from the 2 governments.

From China

There are 3 international airports (Kunming, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou) and 2 border crossings to that you can get to Laos from China

By flight

+ From China to Vientiane

All the 3 airports above offer the direct flight to Vientiane.

From Kunming, there are more than 2 flights per day operated by China Eastern, Sichuan Airlines, and Laos Airlines. The flight will take about 1 hour 45 minutes and cost about $120-150/ticket

There are less flights from Guangzhou to Vientiane with 6 departures per week operated by China Southern and Laos Airlines. The flight takes about 2 hours 30 minutes and cost about $160-190/ticket

From Hangzhou, there is only 1 flight per week operated by Laos Airlines, that takes more than 3 hours and cost $300-350/ticket. As the flight is quite limited, we recommend you reconfirm the flight 7 days before departure.

+ From China to Luang Prabang

There is only the direct flight from Kunming to Luang Prabang with more than 1 departure per day operated by China Eastern, Sichuan Airlines, and Lao Airlines. The flight will take about 1 hour and a half and cost $100-150/ticket

From the other cities in China, you need to take the transit flight via Kunming, Bangkok, or Vientiane

+ From China to Pakse

There is no direct flight to Pakse from China. The best way is to take the transit flight via Vientiane, Luang Prabang, or Bangkok

By Bus

There are 2 border crossings that you can get to Laos from China.

  • Boten – Mohan (Luang Namtha Prov. Laos – Yunnan Prov. China): This border is more popular among tourists and it offers Visa on arrival facilities in Laos side
  • Lantouy International Checkpoint (Phongsaly Prov. Laos – Yunnan Prov. China).  NO visa on arrival for Laos. If you do not have Lao visa exemption and wish to cross this border you need to secure your Lao visa prior to arriving.

By train

China's railway line to Laos, a 414km (257 miles) link between the Yunnan's provincial capital of Kunming and the Laotian capital Vientiane, has already finished. It will take just 4 hours from the border to Vientiane capital.

Frequently asked questions

Q. How long does it take to fly to Laos?

This will depend on where you are from. For more detail, you will find above in this article in the part of Which airlines operate flights to Laos? And Getting to Laos from its neighbor countries.

Please keep in mind that there is no direct flight from Australia, Europe, or America, you need to take the transit flight in the regional airport before connecting with the flight to Laos, that will make the travel time longer than normal.

Q. How to get the visa to Laos?

Laos has quite easy and straight forward visa policies. You will likely be able to apply for online visa or visa on arrival to Laos.

More detail, please check out dedicated article our Laos Visa Policy

Q. How to get from the airports to city center?

+ Wattay International Airport in Vientiane

Getting from Vientiane Airport to the city has only 2 options: you can either take the shuttle bus or a taxi. The shuttle bus costs 2$ and will take you to the Central Bus Station in 35 minutes. If you prefer to take the taxi, the rate to the city is $2 and takes about 15 minutes.

Transport mode Duration Costs
Taxi 15 min $7
Bus 35 min $2

 

+ Luang Prabang International Airport

The only way to get from Luang Prabang International Airport to the city center is by taxi. Taxis have a fixed rate of $7. Tuk-tuks are also available outside the airport at a rate of $3.

Transport mode Duration Costs
Taxi 15 min $7
Tuk Tuk 15 min $3

 

+ Pakse International Airport

To get from Pakse Airport to the city center, there are 2 options: you either take a taxi or a tuk-tuk. Taxis have a fixed rate of $9 while tuk-tuks are cheaper at a negotiable rate of $4 per person. Distance from the airport to the city center is about 5km and travel time is about 15 minutes.

Transport mode Duration Costs
Taxi 15 min $7
Tuk Tuk 15 min $4

 

Q. Where to go in Laos?

There is more than history and culture to see in the dynamic and enthralling country of Laos. As the only landlocked area in Southeast Asia, Laos is blessed with incredible views and diverse terrains, and the tropical climate creates the perfect setting in which to enjoy mountain, cave and water adventures all year round.

Here is the full list of places to visit in Laos.

Q. What to do and see in Laos?

There is more than history and culture to see in the dynamic and enthralling country of Laos. As the only landlocked area in Southeast Asia, Laos is blessed with incredible views and diverse terrains, and the tropical climate creates the perfect setting in which to enjoy mountain, cave and water adventures all year round.

Check out the full list of Things to do in Laos here

Q. Is Laos safe to visit?

Yes, Laos is a safe place to visit, and many find it much safer than their hometowns in the west. There are occasional reports of petty theft, and the occasional bag snatching, but these can be avoided by being cautious with your belongings

Q. What to pack for Laos?

Laos is one of the cheapest countries in South East Asia, so if you forgot to pack something you can easily pick it up on the cheap. That being said you’ll want to pack the basic essentials that are used throughout South East Asia. When traveling to Laos you’ll want to pack light and minimal. 

Here is the guide for Laos packing list for your reference

NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Laos, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Laos
Luang Prabang
bee-white Luang Prabang

The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

Vang Vieng
bee-white Vang Vieng

Vientiane
bee-white Vientiane

The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

4000 Islands
bee-white 4000 Islands

Phonsavan
bee-white Phonsavan

Nong Khiaw
bee-white Nong Khiaw

Laos PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Family
bee-white Family

The combination of fun and educational activities

Cycling
bee-white Cycling

Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Must-see
bee-white Must-see

Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
bee-white Luxury

Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Honeymoon
bee-white Honeymoon

Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Trek & Hike
bee-white Trek & Hike

Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Cruise
bee-white Cruise

The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Unseen
bee-white Unseen

Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Laos PLANS BY TIME FRAME
white-icon About 1 week
yellow-icon About 1 week
white-icon About 2 weeks
yellow-icon About 2 weeks
white-icon About 3 weeks
yellow-icon About 3 weeks
white-icon About 4 weeks
yellow-icon About 4 weeks
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SPECIAL Laos TIPS & TOURS

Search for your nationality below to see our special Laos travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.

Australian
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United States
bee-white United States
United Kingdom
bee-white United Kingdom
Canadian
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German
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French
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Laos BLOG ARTICLES

On June 7th, 2012, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than a hundred countries and territories, including Vietnam and Laos in the list of "safest to travel".

Time to travel now? We do not think so! Let's check more detail below.

...more

Bucolic Wat Phou (Wat Phu, Vat Phou, Vat Phu) sits in graceful decrepitude, and while it lacks the arresting enormity of Angkor in Cambodia, given its few visitors and more dramatic natural setting, these small Khmer ruins evoke a more soulful response. While some buildings are more than 1000 years old, most date from the 11th to 13th centuries. The site is divided into six terraces on three levels joined by a frangipani-bordered stairway ascending the mountain to the main shrine at the top.

Visit in the early morning for cooler temperatures (it gets really hot during the day, and on the lower levels there isn't any shade) and to capture the ruins in the best light. Make sure to grab a map at the entrance as there is little to no signage here.

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Buddhist Lent Day (Thailand Wan Khao Phansa, Laos Boun Khao Phansa) is the start of the three-month period during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in a particular place such as a monastery or temple grounds. Here, they will meditate, pray, study, and teach other young monks. In the past, monks were not even allowed to leave the temple, but today, most monks just refrain from traveling during this period. You will still see them out during the day.

It is said that monks started remaining immobile in a temple during this time because they wanted to avoid killing insects and harming farmland. Apparently, traveling monks were crossing through fields, thus destroying the crops of villagers and farmers. After catching wind of this, Buddha decided that in order to avoid damaging crops, hurting insects, or harming themselves during the rainy season, monks should remain in their temples during these three months.

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Initiated in 2006 by an NGO working for years with the elephants, this annual meeting of Laos Elephant Festival became one of the big festivals of Laos, followed by thousands of Laotians who move to attend a number of exercises, parades, and elections of the most emblematic animal of Laos. Fifty elephants are walking around for 3 days in the streets of the small provincial town. A large market takes place for the occasion with all kind of local (or Thai) products.

Home to the country’s largest pachyderm population, Xayabouly Province is the natural choice to host this growing event that also aims to raise awareness about the need to protect the endangered Asian elephant, which has played such a vital role in Lao people’s livelihoods, culture and heritage.

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The highlight of the year in Wat Phu Champasak is the three-day Buddhist festival, held on Magha Puja day on the full moon of the third lunar month, usually in February. The ceremonies culminate on the full-moon day with an early-morning offering of alms to monks, followed that evening by a candlelit wéean téean (circumambulation) of the lower shrines.

Throughout the three days of the festival Lao visitors climb around the hillside, stopping to pray and leave offerings of flowers and incense. The festival is more commercial than it once was, and for much of the time has an atmosphere somewhere between a kids' carnival and music festival. Events include kick-boxing matches, boat races, cockfights, comedy shows and plenty of music and dancing, as bands from as far away as Vientiane arrive. After dark the beer and lòw-lów (Lao whisky) flow freely and the atmosphere gets pretty rowdy.

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When the three months of Buddhist Lent come to an end in October, it is the perfect time to visit temples and celebrate the end of the rainy season. In Laos, this is called Boun Awk Phansa (Sometimes translated as Boun Ok Phansa or Boun Ock Phansa) and various religious and local traditions can be observed during this time. Moreover, there are plenty of festive activities are organized throughout the country with floating flower boats, candles, fireworks, lavishly decorated wats and an old-time carnival … all make for a magical Boun Awk Phansa festival in Laos. 

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