Laos: tourist information
General information about Laos
Laos (Laos) is a country in South-East Asia. The land of Laos stretch between the borders of Vietnam and Thailand, and have also borders with Cambodia, China and Myanmar. Full country name Lao people's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Laos has no outlet to the sea. Most of the country consists of mountains and hills. The population is about 6.3 million people, which is almost two times less than the population of Moscow.
- The total area of Laos is 236 800 sq km, which is approximately two times less than Thailand, or about five times the Moscow region
- The capital of Laos, Vientiane
- Major cities in Laos is almost there, more or less big Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet (aka kaysone phomvihane)
- Electricity – 220V
Laos is a true exotic from the exotic South East Asia in terms of tourism. The country is still attractive enough for the mass of tourists, and visit her only occasionally travel.
Indeed, if objectively judged, Laos has little to offer to most tourists. There is no beach activities at all, no nightlife, no hotels of high quality. Laos was not so fortunate as Cambodia with its Angkor. Important and mysterious attractions here, of course, enough (to take at least the valley of the jars), but nothing is known and publicized to the whole world at the level of wonders of the world here.
But all this is the exotic nature that the poorest in Southeast Asia and going on its own socialist path of the country. For these aesthetes, have seen a lot already and want something new, Laos – a real "Klondike". Eager for travel and discovery Laos appear not yet trampled and not spoiled by tourist area with beautiful nature of the mountain landscape and jungle, real people, and rarely encountered on the road travelers, seeking adventure.
Not to say that Laos in terms of tourism is quite undeveloped. There are tourist companies offering tours, tourist transport and other services. There are hotels (though rather expensive and much poorer quality than the same in Thailand or Vietnam), you can rent a house or room. There are restaurants for tourists and some entertainment. But all this is still only in its infancy, not yet even in the developing. Roads connecting some major cities, are just dirt roads. And to some people, in General, can only be reached by boat. The population almost do not know any language except their native and English can communicate in only rare of the Lao tourism sector. In General, this is a wonderful and interesting country, perfect for those who want to open new interesting places.
The climate of Laos, seasons
The climate in Laos is subtropical, Equatorial. A large part of Laos lies within the mountains and in the settlements in the mountains the weather can be cool.
In General, in Laos there are three seasons:
- The hot season lasts from April to may. At this time, the temperature can reach 40 degrees.
- The wet season lasts from June to October. At this time there are heavy rains and the weather is relatively low and comfortable.
- The dry season lasts from November to March. This is the best time and the high season in Laos. Rains during that period are very rare, and the temperature low. Sometimes in the mountains the temperature falls to 0 degrees.
By and large, given the nature of the stay in Laos, the tourist season lasts all year round. Only during the hot season and the wet season weather can bring some inconvenience in the form of excessive heat and frequent downpours. But, if you expect active movement in the mountainous areas of Laos, it is better to avoid visiting during the wet season, as heavy rains can erode the already terrible roads of Laos.
The time in Laos
The time in Laos is ahead of Moscow for +4 hours, winter-summer is not translated. The current time in Laos:
Communication and Internet in Laos
Wired communication in Laos is poorly developed, especially to count on a cheap phone call is not necessary, the cost of minute of conversation with Russia will cost about $ 3.
Cellular communication in Laos is much more developed. Almost the entire territory of the country is covered by the reception area, however the quality varies from medium to very bad. Steady reception only in major cities. Near the border you can use the SIM card of Thai and Vietnamese operators.
With the Internet it's quite good. Many hotels offer free Wi-Fi, an Internet café with paying on time.
- Code for international calls: 00
- International code of Laos: 856
- +856 21 Vientiane
- +856 71 Luang Prabang
- +856 41 Savanaket
- +856 31 Pakse
- Emergency services: 03
The language in Laos
In Laos, distributed several national languages, among which the most popular is Lao. It is also the official language of the state. This language is also called Thai-Lao, because he is very similar to Thai language.
Foreign languages in Laos know is bad, mostly in large settlements. Young people can speak English, older people hard to recall the French (the colonial language). In the Outback to communicate will only have the "fingers" (unless of course you don't know Thai or Lao languages).
The names of the objects the pointer may be duplicated in English and sometimes in French. But keep in mind that the pronunciation written in English or French (as, indeed, in Russian) can be very different from the original, and don't be surprised if you can't understand. If you have to ask for directions, it is better to write the names on paper.
Religion in Laos
Most of the population of Laos Buddhism. In a large number of preserved tribes practicing animism (worship of animals). In small numbers of Christians, Muslims and Hindus.
Electricity in Laos
Electricity in Laos is used 220V. However, sockets are the most common three-prong with flat pins. It makes sense to bring an adapter.
In some localities of Laos, electricity is only for a certain period of time, usually in the evening for a few hours.
How to get to Laos
To get to Laos from Russia and most other European countries directly. Aviation communication is only with neighbouring countries in South-East Asia a limited number of airlines, and prices for the flights by Asian standards, quite high.
In Laos only three international airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse. Flights there carry out Lao Airlines, Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways and Vietnam Airlines, AirAsia. To fly them from Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh city, Hanoi, da Nang), Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Udon Thani (Udon Thani), Cambodia (Siem reap, Phnom Penh), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), China, Singapore. Prices for flights start from $ 150 one way.
It is much cheaper to get into Laos by land or on water (river) from neighbouring countries. The only exception is Myanmar, the border with which to move closed. There are many border crossings to Laos (from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia), through which the possible passage of foreigners, as well as a number of crossings where the visa on arrival if necessary. The disadvantage of this method is the long duration journeys. For example, the move from Hanoi to Luang Prabang by bus it takes more than a day.
From Bangkok to Laos can be reached by train leaves three times a day to Vientiane, or rather to the border near the capital. There are also bus routes from Bangkok and other cities.
From Vietnam to Laos can only be reached by bus. The route can be done independently, with a change of buses at the border, or to purchase an integrated ticket with a change of bus or a bus that will come a little more expensive, but much less. There are at least the following flight:
- Hanoi – Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Phonsavan. Cost 40 to 50 dollars one way, in a way 24 hours.
- Sapa – Luang Prabang. The cost of 40 dollars, in a way 24 hours.
- Da Nang – Vientiane, Savannakhet and Pakse.
- Hue – Vientiane, Savannakhet and Pakse.
- Vinh Ventian
Propreity, the bus schedule, fare, book your move online 12go.ru.
Keep in mind that the roads in Laos are very winding pass through the mountain switchbacks, the road surface is bad. Therefore, despite the small distances on the map, moving takes a lot of time. And be sure to do plenty of time in a few hours, because the buses are almost always late.
Detailed information on how to get to Laos by air and on the ground are presented in sections on relevant resorts Laos.
For the most daring travelers have the opportunity to enter Laos from Vietnam on their own or a rented motorbike, but not at all border crossings. It is best to visit to clarify the situation for a particular transition from a local in Vietnam. When crossing the border you will need to fill out a form and pay $ 10 on the Vietnamese side, and 30,000 Kip (about $ 4) on the Lao side.