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How can Swiss Citizens apply for Laos visa? When is the best time to visit the country? How to find the best flight to Laos? Where to visit? or which tour packages will suit you most? Everything can be found below.

Laos TRAVEL TIPS FOR "SWISS CITIZENS"

Best time to visit

The small, landlocked country of Laos is best visited between October and 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.

You can check the detailed guide to know exactly where and when to go in Laos throughout the year.

Laos Tourist Visa Policy for Swiss Citizens

Swiss passport holders do not need to apply for the tourist visa if the travel plan within Laos is not over 15 days. 

Otherwise, the visa is needed to enter Laos. However, you can find it as one of the easiest parts of your trip. You can either apply for visa at Laos embassy, upon arrival, or get it done online (e-Visa). 

Laos online visa (e-Visa)

Swiss citizens can apply online visa via the official website of immigration office. Please notice:

  • Lao e-Visa can be used to enter 5 international checkpoints
    • Wattay International Airport in Vientiane
    • Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang
    • Pakse International Airport in Pakse
    • Laos-Thai Friendship Bridge I in Vientiane (connecting with Nong Khai – Thailand)
    • Laos-Thai Friendship Bridge II in Savannakhet (connecting with Mukdahan – Thailand)
  • Lao e-Visa is non-refundable
  • E-Visa can be processed within 03 working days provided that all the information. supplied by applicants meets the criteria and accepted by Lao Government Authorities, otherwise the processing time can be longer. 

Check more about Laos Visa Online (e-Visa) here.

Lao visa via an embassy abroad

Laos has a consulate office in Zug, which offers a limited consular service. You can recheck with them before proceeding.

Laotian Honorary Consulate in Zug, Switzerland

  • Address: Bahnhofstrasse 52, 6430 Schwyz, Switzerland
  • Tel.: (+41) 41 810 16 59
  • Fax: (+41) 41 810 01 14
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: www.laos-swiss.ch

Moreover, you can also visit one of the Lao embassies along the way to Laos. For example, in case you visit Vietnam, you can spend time visiting Laos embassy in Hanoi to get your visa done before continuing your journey to Laos.

Lao visa on arrival

Swiss passport holders can also apply for Visa on arrival, which seems to be the most convenient method to apply for your Lao visa until now. And we recommend you use this visa type. You do not need any approval letter or supporting documents to do so. Of course, there is still some standard requirements as below.

Check more about Laos Visa On Arrival here.

Lao visa requirements

Whichever visa type you are going to apply, below is the standard requirements:

  • 1 valid passport with at least 6-month validity on the date of arrival and having at least 2 blank pages.
  • 2 recent passport-sized color photos (electronic copy in case you apply for e-Visa)

There may be some extra requirements depending on the port you enter or the embassy you visit. Please check it directly before proceeding.

Notice: upon arrival at the airport, you need to specify if your travel plan exceeds 15 days or not, so that they will issue the suitable visa for you.

For more information, you can check our guide for Laos Tourist Visa Policy here.

How much does it cost to travel to Laos from Switzerland?

For the flight cost, check the information below in this article (Getting to Laos from Switzerland)

Our recommended spending for your journey in Laos is about $120-150/person/day (group of 2 people). Of course, you can either spend less at about $90-100/person/day (even $30-40/day - backpacker style) or you can spend much higher depending on the services you expect on spot.

Here is our detailed guide for Budget & Currency for travelling in Laos

Getting to Laos from Switzerland

Since there are no direct flights from the Switzerland, if you want to visit Laos, the easiest way is to fly to a regional hub first, such as Bangkok, Hanoi, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur, and then take a connecting flight to Laos. 

There are 3 main international airports in Laos. The first one is in Luang Prabang, which of course will serve as the entrance to Luang Prabang and northern Laos. The second one is in the capital Vientiane for the one who wish to explore the capital, the surrounding and the central Laos. The last one is in Pakse, the biggest town of southern Laos. This is the gateway to explore Bolaven Plateau, Wat Phou, and 4000 Islands.

In some instant, if it is difficult to find the suitable flight directly Pakse or Vientiane, you can take the flight to the nearest bordering province in Thailand then take the transfer to Laos. For example, you can take the flight from London to Bangkok, then connect with another flight to Ubon Ratchathani before taking the 3-hour transfer to Pakse.

Flight FAQs

Q. When is the best time to book flights to Laos?

Aim to have your flight tickets secured at least four months in advance to give yourself a chance of finding the cheapest flights to Laos. If you can then book them even further ahead, especially if your dates coincide with a major event or the peak season. 

Once you’ve narrowed down your destination by choosing a city, usually either Vientiane or Luang Prabang, you’ll be able to figure out what dates offer the cheapest flights to Laos and go from there. 

Flexibility is the key to securing discounted flight tickets so if you’re not governed by a particular set of weeks or to a specific location then you’ll give yourself the best chances of finding the cheapest flights to Laos. 

Don’t worry too much about which side of the plane to sit on as each has their benefits and offer equally impressive view through your flight.

Q. How long is the flight to Laos?

An average nonstop flight from Switzerland to Laos takes about 11h, covering a distance of about 5,113 miles or 8 189 kilometers. However, as there is no direct flight, your total travel time will take about 15-16 hours or more depending on the number of transiting airports you take along the way.

Q. Can I get a nonstop flight to Laos from Switzerland?

Unfortunately, there are no nonstop flights available from any airports in Switzerland to Laos. The best way is to take the flight to its neighboring countries (i.e. Vietnam and Thailand), then take the onward flight to Laos.

Q. Where should I fly to if I want to visit Plain of Jars?

The famous plain of jars locates in the province of Xieng Khuang, Northeastern Laos. There is no international flight here. Hence, the best way for you to get to Xieng Khuang is to fly into Vientiane first, then take a connecting flight to Xieng Khuang. The flight here is also very limited, so you can expect to spend 1 or 2 nights in Vientiane before getting the flight to Xieng Khuang

Q. Where should I fly to if I want to visit the ruin Wat Phou?

Wat Phou locates in the province of Champasak, 40km away from Pakse International Airport in Southern Laos. Hence you can find the flight to Pakse and take a short transfer to Champasak to visit the ruin of Wat Phou. In case you find it difficult to find the flight to Pakse, you can take the flight to Ubon Ratchathani the bordering province in Thailand, which has fruitful connection flights from Bangkok, and take the 3 hours transfer to Champasak. 

Q. How much does it cost to fly to Laos?

Compared to Thailand and Vietnam, the price ticket to Laos is a little bit higher ranging from $550 to $850 depending on your flight route and date. It is because you need to add up the cost for the onward flight from those countries.

We recommend using some online ticket booking platform (Kayak, Cheapflights, or SkyScanner) to look for the cheapest flight possible according to your travel plan. They do have alert system when there is the price change on your travel date.

Here is how to get the cheapest flight possible to Laos

Getting around in Laos

Figuring out transportation on your own in Laos can be very challenging. While there are a variety of transportation options, travel is slow, and roads can be flooded or unpaved altogether. Besides the ubiquitous tuk tuk, there are plenty of forms of transport in the Lao PDR. With a little patience and a lot of good humor, you’ll get to where you’re going eventually. Keep it for yourselves: The journey is the destination.

Check How to get around in Laos here

Other FAQs

1. Do I need vaccines for Laos?

Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Laos. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Laos: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza

Here is the article for recommended vaccinations for Laos.

2. How safe is Laos?

Over the last couple of decades Laos has earned a reputation among visitors as a remarkably safe place to travel, with little crime reported and few of the scams often found in more touristed places such as Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. And while the vast majority of Laotians remain honest and welcoming, things aren't quite as idyllic as they once were. The main change has been in the rise of petty crimes, such as theft and low-level scams, which are more annoying than dangerous.

Here is our guide for Safety and Precautions in Laos

3. Do I need a travel insurance for Laos?

Travel insurance for Laos is an absolute must!

A good travel-insurance policy, as always, is a wise investment. Laos is generally considered a high-risk area, and with limited medical services it's vital to have a policy that covers being evacuated (medivaced), by air if necessary, to a hospital in Thailand. Read the small print in any policy to see if hazardous activities are covered; rock climbing, rafting and motorcycling are often not.

If you undergo medical treatment in Laos or Thailand, be sure to collect all receipts and copies of the medical report, in English if possible, for insurance purposes.

Check the detailed article for Laos travel insurance here

4. What should I take to Laos?

For the best possible stay in Laos and to prepare yourself for anything unexpected weather-wise, add these items to your packing checklist:

  • Lightweight and light-colored clothing to reflect the sun
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Powerful sunscreen to protect from the sun’s intensity
  • Earplugs as most places tend to be noisy during the day and into the night
  • Dry pack if planning on water-based activities or to plan for spontaneous rain pour
  • Wet weather coat or umbrella

Here is the detailed guide for what to pack for Laos

5. Are you supposed to tip in Laos?

In most places in Laos, tipping is not expected though as always it is appreciated. If you want to tip, 10% percent is pretty generous. We’d encourage tipping for particularly good service; wages are low so they’ll certainly be appreciated. That being said, do only tip on a merit basis and don’t feel obliged to do it. 

Check out the Laos tipping guide & other local etiquettes here

6. Do I need to buy a Laos SIM Card? And where can I buy it?

It is recommended to buy a local SIM card why travelling in Laos as it surely has a stable connection and also the cheaper price for calling & data usage.

You can buy the SIM Card almost everywhere in Laos, especially inside the big cities like Vientiane or Luang Prabang.

Check out the detailed guide for Internet & phone in Laos here

7. Do I need to bargain while shopping in Laos?

If an item has a price tag then you're not expected to bargain. You are not expected to bargain in a grocery store or restaurant either. If you find it expensive, just walk away.

The main venues for bargaining are the local markets, where the price will probably be a little flexible, although not as much as in neighboring countries like Vietnam or Thailand.

Here is our guide for Buying and bargaining in Laos

Swiss Embassy in Laos

It is good to know exactly where the Swiss embassy or consulates are located when traveling. Keep the address written down in case you have a legal problem, you lose your passport, or you want to report a crime. Keep a copy of your passport with you in case you lose the original.

Swiss Embassy Vientiane

  • Address: 2nd Floor Setthathirath Road Namphu Square Vientiane Laos
  • Phone: (+856) 21 264 160
  • Fax: (+856) 21 264 161
  • Email: [email protected]
     

Laos TOUR PACKAGES FOR "SWISS CITIZENS"

Amazing Laos Amazing Laos

- Laos -

Amazing Laos
Luxury / 18 days / fr. $4,500

Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. Enter Laos through a rural bordertown and travel the country to meet some... More

Laos - Uncover the Mysteries Laos - Uncover the Mysteries

- Laos -

Laos - Uncover the Mysteries
Unseen / 19 days / fr. $2,470

Uncover the Mysteries is part of our Laos Soft Adventure tour collection. The journey throughout Laos from the North to the South, from river to river, from mountain to mountain. The journey of cul... More

Laos Grand Tour Laos Grand Tour

- Laos -

Laos Grand Tour
Family / 28 days / fr. $3,360

Laos Grand Tour is part of our Laos Family tour collection. The journey throughout Laos from the North to the South, from river to river, from mountain to mountain. The journey of culture experienc... More

Impression on Laos Impression on Laos

- Laos -

Impression on Laos
Must-see / 18 days / fr. $1,980

18-day Impression on Laos tour is the one of our Laos Must-see tour collection. The journey throughout Laos from the North to the South, from border to border, from river to river, from mountain to... More

Laos Adventure Trail Laos Adventure Trail

- Laos -

Laos Adventure Trail
Trek & Hike / 23 days / fr. $2,990

Laos Adventure Trail is part of our Laos Adventure tour collection. The journey throughout Laos from the North to the South, from river to river, from mountain to mountain. The journey of culture e... More

Laos Endless Romance Laos Endless Romance

- Laos -

Laos Endless Romance
Honeymoon / 21 days / fr. $4,515

Laos Endless Romance is part of our Laos Honeymoon tour collection. The journey throughout Laos from the North to the South, from river to river, from mountain to mountain. The journey of culture e... More

Laos Revealed Laos Revealed

- Laos -

Laos Revealed
Family / 9 days / fr. $1,800

Being one of the most laid-back country, Laos still can keep most of its nature untouched, which is the ideal for the adventure into the nature. Within this 9-day Laos Revealed, we have chance to e... More

Laos Retreat Laos Retreat

- Laos -

Laos Retreat
Luxury / 11 days / fr. $3,300

Culture and Nature of Laos just combines in this 11-day tour. Exploring the ancient town of Luang Prabang and its surrounding, allured by the never fading tradition. Continue with the exploration t... More

Laos Nature & Culture Laos Nature & Culture

- Laos -

Laos Nature & Culture
Must-see / 7 days / fr. $770

Being one of the most laid-back country, there are plenty of spots in Laos remain as the mystery to the world. Within this 7-day Laos Nature & Culture, we will visit some of them including the... More

Laos Mysteries Revealed Laos Mysteries Revealed

- Laos -

Laos Mysteries Revealed
Must-see / 9 days / fr. $1,080

Being one of the most laid-back country, there are plenty of spots in Laos remain as the mystery to the world. Within this 9-day Laos package tour, we will visit some of them including the laid-bac... More

Classic Laos Tour Classic Laos Tour

- Laos -

Classic Laos Tour
Must-see / 5 days / fr. $550

Luang Prabang and Vientiane are the must-see cities of Laos, which are included in this 5-day Classic Laos Tour. The highlights range from the charming town of Luang Prabang, and Vientiane to the m... More

Northwest Laos Experience Northwest Laos Experience

- Laos -

Northwest Laos Experience
Trek & Hike / 13 days / fr. $1,950

Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. 13-day Northwest Laos Experience brings you to the remote areas of norther... More

The Northern Laos Legend The Northern Laos Legend

- Laos -

The Northern Laos Legend
Unseen / 11 days / fr. $1,540

Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. 11-day The Northern Laos Legend tour brings you to the remote areas o... More

Southern Laos Adventure Southern Laos Adventure

- Laos -

Southern Laos Adventure
Unseen / 10 days / fr. $1,600

Southern Laos is the worthiest destination to visit in Laos. The area has its all to offer to tourists including the mountainous area of Bolaven Plateau with plenty of colorful hill tribe village,... More

Vientiane & Central Laos Adventure Vientiane & Central Laos Adventure

- Laos -

Vientiane & Central Laos Adventure
Unseen / 11 days / fr. $1,540

11-day Vientiane & Central Laos Adventure brings you into some most mysterious parts of Laos. The journey from river to river, from mountain to mountain. The journey of culture experience, natu... More

Classic Laos Biking Tour Classic Laos Biking Tour

- Laos -

Classic Laos Biking Tour
Cycling / 10 days / fr. $1,320

Escape the bustling city of Luang Prabang and discover the beautiful countryside of Vang Vieng. Bike uphill on some challenging roads and take in the stunning scenery of Kiu Kacham and Ban Keun. &n... More

Laos Family Adventure Laos Family Adventure

- Laos -

Laos Family Adventure
Family / 10 days / fr. $989

This Laos family adventure is a harmonious combination of stays in the former kingdoms of Luang Prabang and the mountainous northern Laos. You will get a unique chance to experience Lao culture and... More

Northeastern Laos Adventure Northeastern Laos Adventure

- Laos -

Northeastern Laos Adventure
Trek & Hike / 15 days / fr. $1,397

Indulge yourself in the rich culture and nature of authentic Laos from vibrant temples to lush jungle. Luang Prabang offers you plenty of chances to take great photos and enjoy great food. Head to... More

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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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Laos BLOG ARTICLES

Laos has officially announced it will reopen for tourism on 1 January 2022, providing more information on travel conditions during a press conference held at the Lao National Convention Center on December 17th, 2022.

Check out the more detail below you will have all the answers for every question that you may have from What it it? to who is eligible? where to go and stay? or what requirements for the travelers who wish to visit the country.

Check it out!

...more

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.

...more

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.

Tired of reading, listen to our podcast below:

...more

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.

...more

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.

...more
CHECK OUT OTHER DESTINATIONS
Vietnam
bee-white Vietnam
A land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is both exotic and compelling.
Thailand
bee-white Thailand
Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
Cambodia
bee-white Cambodia
There's a magic about this charming yet confounding kingdom that casts a spell on visitors. In Cambodia, ancient and modern worlds collide to create an authentic adventure.
Myanmar
bee-white Myanmar
It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
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