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Spotlight Destination

Laos is known as a new destination in South East Asia where tourists came to enjoy their vacation quietly and peacefully. Talking about Laos, tourist is always having a joke say: ‘Lao PDR’ which means ‘Laos – Please Don’t Rush’ (actually means Lao People’s Democratic Republic). This tropical country is not own any beach like other countries in same area that can be realized through its borders: Vietnam to the East, Cambodia to the South, Thailand to the West and Myanmar and Chinese to the North. Although the Tourism of Laos does not develop for the time being but Laos is still considered by tourists as a perfect destination for visiting.

Most of ‘beach lovers’ might be disappointed when travelling to Laos but it would never be for almost of ‘adventurers’ and ‘historical researchers’ due to the typical history of this country. Before 14th century, Laos was invaded by many kingdoms in area such as Kingdom of Nanzhao, Khmer Empire and Kingdom of Sukhothai. Until 14th century, Laos has established and named Kingdom of Lan Xang and kept against the invasions of Myanmar and Rattanakosin Kingdom. In 19th century, Laos as Cambodia and Vietnam was occupied by French Colonial. During this wartime, Laos had bombed by 1.9 million tones of American’s bomb which made the country damaged heavily for the time being. Until 1975, Laos took back the control and stood up as an independent country.

Been through the darkest time caused by invasions and wars, Laos’s culture and economy had been damaged and slowly recovered. However, Laos was also earned the respects from the world when still keeping many historical sites that remain as originally which affected of Buddhism and Colonial. This can be realized easily through the Buddha pagodas that designed elaborately and the French building sitting on both sides of green boulevards in major cities. In additional, Laos has a specific cultures of 49 ethnic groups that made this country became very interesting to tourists. This can be seen through the lifestyles, the festivals and the customs of the ethnic groups. That is reason why Laos is now very famous to the world and exciting most of travelers who are planning to visit to South East Asia.

‘Lao people are very nice, friendly and warm-hearted’ … This can be repeated many times by travelers who have been visited to Laos if they were asked. It is absolutely right in any situation and we, Viet Premier JSC would say the same. Although spending most of time with fighting against the invasions, Lao people are still head up high and ready to do everything to rebuilding their country no matter how much damage it was. This made Laos nowadays became a strong nation, independent and development. In Tourism, Lao people proves themselves to the world that they are always welcomed everyone by bringing the best for the travelers and make them feel like have never away from home.       

When to go?

When to go to Laos?

In generally, Laos is also a tropical country where has similar climate as other countries in South East Asia. However, because of Laos does not own any beach and therefore the weather of Laos have itself many differences. Laos's weather has 3 distinct seasons:

Hot season: happening from March to May. Although the heat might soar as high as 40°C, tourist can still visit to Northern Laos where the temperatures are cooler a bit.

Rainy season: happening from May to October when it’s raining in days and highest during July – August. This period is absolutely not a good time for travelling to Laos due to floods might happen.

Dry season: happening from November to April which has low rainfall and temperatures are cool around 15°C. This should be the best time for tourists come to Laos, especially in April when the Water Festival is held during Laos New Year.

Useful Information

For the time being, except Russians, Koreans, Japanese, Swiss and ASEAN nationals can enter Laos without a visa. All other foreign tourists are generally admitted into Laos for a 30-day stay with a visa on arrival at Laos international airports such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse or for a 30-day stay with a visa issued at a Laotian embassy. This will costs 30-42 USD (depending on nationality) and requires the filling in of an application form and two passport photos.

‘Please be informed that there is an additional 1 USD/person can be charged if you arrive on a weekend or public holiday’

Currency and exchange

Currency: the ‘Kip’ is the currency unit of Laos and are presently in distributions of 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 kip. However, US dollars, Euros and Thai baht are also accepted in many places and are certainly more convenient to carry than great wads of the local currency.

Money exchange: Dollars can be exchanged for Bath and Kip at banks in Laos, but you should not exchange to kip since Bath and Dollar are most preferred currency in the whole country

Credit cards: Visa and Master Card are now accepted at most of large hotels in Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

ATMs: The ATM services are good in most cities such as Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Pakse and can be found easily, but if you are heading off into the countryside, don’t forget to bring cash.


The national language of Laos is Lao language, which is closely related to Thai language and be spoken in many different dialects Lao. However, the tonal language is like Thai.

English is also spoken in major cities such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Besides, French is still spoken by many government officials and elders.

Business hour and public holidays

Business hours:

  • Government offices (including banks and museums): 08:00 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 17:00 from Monday to Friday.
  • Vendors, Restaurants and Shops: open 7days a week between 09:00 – 17:00.

‘Please be informed almost of shops, restaurant and vendors will be closed during Laos New Year’s Day and public holidays’

Public holidays:

  • New Year’s Day:                                                               01st                  January
  • International Women’s Day:                                             08th                  March
  • International Labor Day:                                                   01st                  May
  • Wat Phou Festival (Champassak)                                    15th – 18th        February
  • Elephant Festival (Hongsa)                                              18th – 20th        February
  • Laos New Year (Boun Pimai)                                           14th – 19th        April
  • Boat Racing Festival (in Luang Prabang)                         08th                  September
  • Loy Kratong                                                                      12th                  October
  • Boat Racing Festival                                                         13th                  October          
  • National Day                                                                    02nd     December

In generally, Laos is a completely safe country for visiting. However, it’s same as everywhere that never leaves your belongings unattended and always maintains eye contact or a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags.

Souvenir vendors: At almost of visiting places there always have many vendors who selling souvenirs and keep following tourists to sell stuffs. If you are willing to buy, should always check the price first and do bargain before any purchases. If not, just saying “No, thank you” politely and they won’t be following you anymore

Fake products: be warned if you are going to buy stuffs at malls or markets in because there are a lots of fake products that made by Chinese or Thailand companies in Laos. So, please check every valued goods before any purchases which is including the brand's name, company, guarantees ... Or better check with tour guides as they are always willing to give advices.

Getting around on your own

By Song Thaew: is considered as "minibuses". Song Thaews are operated extensively as local buses (generally the most economical way to travel shorter distances) and also as taxis; sometimes the same vehicle will be used for both. Be careful if asking a Song thaew to take you to someplace if there is nobody in the back, the driver might charge you the taxi price. In this case, check the price of the ride before embarking.

By tuk-tuk: is like the Tuk Tuk in Cambodia but does not fast driving as Thailand’s ones. In Vien Taine, Tuk Tuk is negotiable pricing for tourists. That’s why you should bargain rates before get on a Tuk Tuk.

Foods and beverages


Laos’s cuisines are pretty much similar to Thailand and Vietnam cuisines such as spicy, bitter and always including many kinds of herbs, vegetables and stick rice as a main ingredient. But it would be a mistake if thinking that Laos’s cuisines does not have own specific that exciting tourists.  

Laab: (also be called Larb) is a national dish of Laos. It is a type of salad of minced meat mixed with herbs, lime juice, chilies and spices. Please don’t be mistaken with Thai’s Larb, Laos’s larb has own taste by using raw meat instead of cooked meat and therefore, it absolutely brings up the fresh feeling when eating. 

Tam maak hung: is also known as ‘green papaya salad’, a type of spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya, sour lime, chilies, savory, fish sauce, palm sugar and spices. This dish is one of the traditional staples of the Lao and preferred all along the country in every festivals.

Besides the very special traditional foods, Laos also have many types of foods that imported from other countries such as ‘Khao Jii pat-te’ which is French baguettes stuffed with pâté, ‘Foe Noodles’ which is also known as Vietnamese Phở. 


Beer Lao: a traditional beer made from jasmine rice which maintains an almost mythical status amongst travelers.

Rice spirit: a kind of local wine that can drive you to drunk easily. However, this type of drink is now not recommended due to the changes of quality.

Lao coffee: considered a very high quality coffee. Lao coffee is growing on the Bolaven Plateau in the south. If you are going to try Lao coffee, don’t forget to order Kaafeh Thung for your enjoyable.


In Laos, tipping is always appreciated especially for tour guides, drivers or porters at hotels … if you found they have provided good services. However, It is totally up to you who you tip, when and how much.

‘Dos’ and ‘Don'ts’ in Laos


  • Always reconfirm the tickets for your return journey.
  • Change money from banks or exchange outlets.
  • Keep important documents in your hotel locker and carry photocopies of the same.
  • Dress   discreetly   while   entering   temples   and   other religious places.
  • Indulge in some haggling while buying goods without price tags whenever you go shopping
  • Always be careful of the belongings you carry with you during your holiday.
  • Take care of all your valuables and never leave your bags unattended


  • Don't carry much money than you need or large amounts of jewels when walking around the streets.
  • Don’t exchange all dollars into kip. The best way to do payment in Laos is dollars and Thai’s bath.
  • Don't worry too much about security; just be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don't wear indecent dresses when visiting to Buddhism pagodas or temples.
Things that should not to miss
  • Si Phan Don
  • Pha That Luang
  • Ancient capital of Luang Prabang
  • Plain of Jars
  • Wat Phu
  • Pakse
  • The herbal sauna