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How can UK 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 "UNITED KINGDOM CITIZENS"

Best time to visit Laos

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 UK Citizens

U.K. passport holders will need a visa 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). 

1. Laos online visa (e-Visa)

UK 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.

2. Visa applied via a Laos embassy

If you want to have a physical contact, there is the Lao Embassy to UK in London at the address below:

  • Address: 49 Porchester Terrace, London W2 3TS, United Kingdom, 
  • Tel.: +44-20-7402-3770; 
  • Fax: +44-20-7262-1994; 
  • Email: [email protected] 

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.

3. Lao visa on arrival

UK 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.

4. 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.

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

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

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

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 UK

Since there are no direct flights from the UK, if you want to visit Laos, the easiest way is to fly to a regional hub first, such as Bangkok, Hanoi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Hong Kong, 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 United States to Laos takes 17h, covering a distance of 8,323 miles. However, as there is no direct flight, your total travel time will take about 21-25 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 the US?

Unfortunately, there are no nonstop flights available from any airports in the United States 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 $650 to $1,000 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 will 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

UK Embassy in Laos

It is good to know exactly where the U.K. 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.

If you plan to buy a local SIM card you can also enter your phone number to receive SMS updates from the office.

UK Embassy Vientiane

  • Address: Rue Yokkabat Ban Phonexay Saysettha District PDR, Vientiane
  • Phone: +856 (0) 30 77 00 000
  • Office hours: Monday to Friday: 8.30am to 4.30pm (office hours)

Laos TOUR PACKAGES FOR "UNITED KINGDOM CITIZENS"

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

Northern Laos Adventure Northern Laos Adventure

- Laos -

Northern Laos Adventure
Unseen / 18 days / fr. $2,340

Lao is famous for its beautiful green virgin nature, which attracts nature lovers all over the world to come, and explore. 18-day Northern Lao Adventure tour brings you to the most remote areas of... 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

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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

The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.

The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.

...more

A report from Andy Jarosz from BBC Travel about his day trekking to the remote 100 waterfalls in Nong Khiaw 10 years ago (in 2012). The experience that you cannot miss when visiting the area. Check out the details as below so that you have some ideas of what to expect.

In the last four years, the rural village of Nong Khiaw has seen a steady stream of adventure travellers who want to experience the 10km trek before it disappears.

Strictly speaking, the name of the 100 Waterfalls Trek in northern Laos is misleading, since it is impossible to say how many waterfalls tumble through the thick jungle along the steady 10km ascent, with each one tumbling immediately into the next.

...more

Laos has announced a full reopening to tourism today that allows vaccinated arrivals to enter the country without any testing requirements.

Government Spokesperson and Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Madame Thippakone Chanthavongsa, spoke during an announcement broadcast live across social media.

She said that as the number of Covid-19 cases had significantly decreased, and in order to ensure economic recovery, the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and the government of Laos had coordinated with a number of sectors to determine new entry measures in line with the global situation.

After canvassing public opinion and consulting with experts, the Taskforce has set out the following measures for entry to Laos, effective from 9 May onward:

All international checkpoints will be open for entry and exit by Lao citizens, foreign residents, tourists, and other types of visitors.

Citizens of countries that have bilateral or unilateral visa waiver agreements with Laos may now enter Laos without the need for a visa.

Citizens of countries that do not have a visa waiver agreement with Laos may now apply for a visa at a Lao embassy or consulate abroad or via the e-Visa online system. Visa on arrivals will also be reinstated at certain international checkpoints.

Fully vaccinated foreigners or Lao citizens carrying a vaccination certificate may enter Laos without any screening or testing for Covid-19 when arriving by land, air, or water.

Non-vaccinated citizens of Laos, foreign citizens, or residents aged 12 years and over must take a Rapid Antigen Test (ATK) at least 48 hours prior to departure and present the results upon arrival.

Foreign arrivals in Laos that become infected with Covid-19 must bear responsibility for any and all medical costs involved in treatment.

Private vehicles may now enter and exit the territory of Laos via checkpoints as prior to the pandemic. Guidelines regarding this measure will be drafted and publicized by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Madame Thippakone said that ministries and tourism departments, as well as tourism businesses, must now be fully prepared to welcome foreign tourists.

At the same time, she announced the reopening of entertainment venues and karaoke bars, however, such venues must ensure they fully comply with Covid-19 prevention measures.

...more

Laos is preparing to commence a new phase of reopening to tourism that will require Covid-19 tests prior to departure and on arrival.

Dr. Sisavath Soutthanilaxay said during an announcement by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control yesterday that the country is now actively preparing for a full reopening.

Under new entry regulations, which will be officially announced at a future press conference, arrivals in Laos will be required to undergo two Covid-19 tests.

According to Dr. Sisavath, tourists will be required to take an RT-PCR test 72 hours before departure, as well as an RDT (Rapid Diagnostic Test) on arrival.

“The wait time for results will depend upon the number of travelers arriving,” said Dr. Sisavath.

Those who have been infected with Covid-19 and recovered will not need to take an RT-PCR test, however, an official medical certificate will be required.

Arrivals with a negative RDT test result may enter the country freely, while those who test positive will need to quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel.

Those with serious symptoms will be hospitalized.

The news comes after Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh agreed to a full reopening of the country to tourism on Tuesday.

The PM said that he agreed “in principle” to the reopening and that relevant sectors should “draw upon lessons from neighboring countries” when drafting new regulations.

...more

The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism has sent a proposal for a full reopening of the country to the Prime Minister of Laos for consideration.

Check more detail below.

...more

The government of Laos has officially set 13 April 2022 the first public holiday date of Lao New Year (Pi Mai).

A notice issued by Prime Minister’s Office confirms the holiday date and prohibits government offices and departments from holding Lao New Year parties in a bid to promote austerity and set an example for the wider population.

The notice states that the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control and relevant provincial taskforces should issue coronavirus prevention measures related to celebrations in each locality. 

While the country’s biggest festival was canceled in 2020, scaled-back Lao New Year celebrations were held in 2021, allowing residents to participate in the celebration with their families, at their workplaces, and at temples in accordance with Lao traditions.

...more
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