Laos Overview

Laos is one of the few Communist countries left in the world. Until 1988 tourists were not allowed access to Laos, but the country has now opened up and it is perfectly feasible to travel all over the country, preferably with a recognized tour company, although plenty of backpackers do it independently. The number of tourists is expected to continue increasing over the next few years as more and more people discover the delights of this laid-back country of mountains and rivers. For now, Laos remains relatively isolated and undeveloped. Its capital, Vientiane, is more like a big village than a crowded Asian hub and life throughout the country is slow-paced. Most people come to Laos and make a brief tour of Vientiane and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Luang Prabang with perhaps a brief detour to the mysterious Plain of Jars. But those who make the effort to explore further afield will be well rewarded with luscious landscapes, friendly people and unique glimpses of a country hardly changed for over a century.  

Fast facts:

Location: South-East Asia.

Time: GMT + 7.

Area: 236,800 sq km (91,400 sq miles).

Population: 6.3 million (2006).

Population Density: 26.6 per sq km.

Capital: Vientiane.

Population: 700,000 (2005 estimate).

Geography: 

Laos is a landlocked country bordered to the north by China, to the east by Vietnam, to the south by Cambodia, and to the west by Thailand and Myanmar. Apart from the Mekong River plains, along the border of Thailand the country is mountainous, particularly in the north, and in places is densely forested.

Language

The official language is Lao, however, many tribal languages are also spoken. French, Vietnamese and some English are spoken.

Religion

The majority of the Lao people are Buddhists. The Laos-Lum (Valley Laos) people follow the Hinayana (Theravada) form of Buddhism. The religions of the Laos-Theung (Laos of the mountain tops) range from traditional Confucianism to animism and Christianity.

Electricity

230 volts AC, 50Hz.

Social Conventions

Religious beliefs should be respected. Lao people should not be touched on the head. Handshaking is not that usual; Lao people greet each other with their palms together and a slight bowing of the head. Take care when discussing politics and related subjects in conversation so as not to cause offence. Shorts or revealing clothes are not always acceptable. It is a legal requirement to carry an ID document or a passport, and fines for not having one for presentation on demand can be high. The Lao government prohibits sexual relationships, including sexual contact between foreign citizens and Lao nationals, except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao family law. Penalties for failing to register a relationship range from fines to imprisonment. 

Laos, officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia. A mountainous and landlocked country, Laos shares borders with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China to the north.

Hotel in Laos

Our Laos trips

Departing Trip name Days From USD
23 September, 2019 Southern Laos Highlights Tour Pakse, Laos to Khong Island, Laos Southern Laos Highlights Tour 4 days Contact us View Trip
23 September, 2019 Laos Ancient And Modern Tour Luang Prabang, Laos to Vientiane, Laos Laos Ancient And Modern Tour 5 days Contact us View Trip
23 September, 2019 Vientiane - Xiengkhouang - Luang Prabang Tour Vientiane, Laos to Luang Prabang, Laos Vientiane - Xiengkhouang - Luang Prabang Tour 6 days Contact us View Trip
23 September, 2019 Laotian Journey Vientiane, Laos to Luang Prabang, Laos Laotian Journey 7 days Contact us View Trip
23 September, 2019 A Cultural Voyage Of Laos Luang Prabang, Laos to Pakse, Laos A Cultural Voyage Of Laos 8 days Contact us View Trip

Shopping

Luang Prabang Night Market

Luang Prabang night market is something not to be missed when visiting this charming city. It is an amazing sight and offers the most extensive collection of handicrafts in the country and other...
More

General Information

Vientiane, capital city of Laos

Vientiane is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was...
More

Savanakhet

Savannakhet is Laos’s third-largest city after Vientiane and Luang Prabang, and the surrounding area that makes up Savannakhet province. It is stretching from the Mekong River to the...
More

Heritages

Town of Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Its...
More

The Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars is a group of fields containing thousands of stone jars cut out from rock thousands of years ago. The sites are located around the city of Phonsavan in Xiangkhouang province,...
More

Travel Tips

Dos and Don'ts on travelling Laos

It is important to know about your dos and don's in Laos if you are travelling to this country, either for a short visit or for a longer stay. Laotians are hospitable, friendly and...
More

Secrets for backpacking travel

If you are crazy on backpacking travel, discovering new destinations to have more experiences, Laos is the ideal choice due to low cost and simple procedure.
More

Top Attractions

Tourist attractions in Vientiane

Vientiane is the capital city of Lao, a country known as a kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao (Million Elephants and White Parasols). The Laotian capital offers amazing Buddhist art, graceful temples...
More

Wat Xayaphoum Temple

Wat Xayaphoum Temple was built in 1542, the same period of Ban Thahir or Nakham. It is the center of the local Buddhist people with arts and architecture dating from the original Savannakhet. This...
More

Travel Experiences

Attractive activities in Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is a small city full of character and charm. There are just so many things to do in Luang Prabang. Being the first UNESCO site listed in the country of Laos, the town offers a...
More

15 excited activities in Laos

Laos is one of the best place to travel with hundreds of historical monuments, world heritages, beautiful landscape and rich cuisine. Obviously, visitors will never regret spending time to visit...
More

Food Culture

5 must-try cuisines in Laos

In Laos, food is the most important activity throughout the day. It is often the topic of many conversations, especially when eating and sharing dishes between friends and family. Additionally,...
More

Larb (meat salad)

Larb is one of the most famous dish in Laos which is regarded as the "unofficial" national dish of this country. It is a spicy mixture of marinated meat or fish that is sometimes raw (prepared...
More