There are four international airports in Laos, where you can get visa on arrival : Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital, Pakse International Airport in Champasack Province, Luang Prabang International Airport and Savannakhet.
Wattay in Vientiane has regular service from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Kunming, Guang Zhou, Singapore, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur.
Direct flights are available to Luang Prabang from Bangkok, Hanoi and Chiang Mai. Lao Airlines has regular service to all domestic destinations and a number of regional capitals. Major international carriers with flights to Laos are Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways International, Vietnam Airlines , China Southern Airlines and Air Asia.
If you enter Laos from Thailand at Houai Xay (Bokeo), it is necessary to take a short ferry ride across the Mekong River. After crossing from Chiang Khong in northern Thailand to Houai Xay, many people proceed directly to Luang Prabang via the Mekong.
If you are heading north to Luang Namtha, a two-day journey on the Namtha River is a memorable adventure. The boat takes you through beautiful forest. You need an overnight stay in boatman's home. There is also a regular boat service on the Mekong from Pakse to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Wat Phou, and through the Four Thousand Islands in the far south.
You can access Laos by road from Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Yunnan Province in China. There are presently 24 international border crossings where 15-day visa on arrival can be obtained. The most popular entry point is Vientiane's Friendship Bridge that crosses the Mekong and connects Laos to Thailand.
• Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital.
• Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang Province.
• Pakse Internatioanl Airport in Champasack Province.
• Savannakhet International Airport in Savannakhet Province.
• Bohan - Boten (Yunnan - Luang Namtha Province)
• Vang Poung - Ban Muang Mom (Yangon - Bokeo Province) "No Visa-on-arrival"
• Chiang Khong - Houai Xay (Chiang Rai - Bokeo Province)
• Nakaxeng - Nam Heuang (Loei - Sayabouly Province)
• Houai Kon – Nam Ngeun (Nan - Sayabouly Province)
• Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I (Nongkhay - Vientiane Capital)
• Train Station (Nongkhay - Vientiane Capital)
• Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge II (Moukdahan - Savannakhet Province)
• Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge III (Nakorn Phanom - Khammouane Province)
• Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge IV (Chiang Khong-Bokeo Province)
• Bungkan - Pakxan (Nongkhay-Bolikhamxay Province) "No Visa-on-arrival"
• Chongmek - Vangtao, Ubol Ratchathani to Champasack Province.
• Taichang - Pang Hok, Dien Bien to Phongsaly Province
• Nameo - Nam Soi, Thanh Hoa to Houaphanh Province.
• Namkan - Namkan (Nge An - Xieng Khouang Province)
• Kao Jeo - Nam Pao (Ha tinh - Bolikhamxay Province)
• Napao - Chalo (Quangbinh - Khammouane Province)
• Laobao - Dansavanh (Quang tri - Savannakhet Province)
• Bo-er - Phou Keua (Kom Toum - Attapeu Province)
• Pra Preng Krian - Nong Nok Khian (Cambodia - Champasack Province)
A train operates daily between the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge (Vientiane Capital) and Nong Khai (Thailand) connecting Laos to Thailand
All visitors entering Laos must possess valid passports. Visas can obtained from Lao Embassies and Consulates abroad. In addition, visas can also be obtained on arrival at the international checkpoint.
Visas can be secured in advance of arrival at Lao Embassies. This can be done in several ways through a tour company recognized by the Lao PDR, from Lao Embassies or Consulate in countries.
For those wishing to extend their stay, it is possible to extend your visa at the Immigration Office in Vientiane, through travel agencies. It is also possible to obtain a Visa-on-Arrival at international checkpoints.
Validity starts from day of entry into Laos. Tourist/Business: 30 days (can be extended twice in Vientiane for 30 days). Visas must be used within three months of being issued.
Passport/Visa Note: Those requiring visas should obtain them in their home country before travelling to Laos. Visas are available on arrival at international checkpoints. On entering Laos visitors must ensure they receive an entry stamp in their passport as fines for not having one are high. All visitors' passports should be valid for at least six months.
Laos Visa Extension
If you find your visa is about to expire and you wish to stay longer in Laos, don't worry, it is possible to get all types of Laos visa (except for a Transit Visa), extended at the immigration office in Vientiane. It cost US$2 per day if you apply before the expiry date. However, if you leave it until your visa expires you will be finded for US$10 per day for the days you over stayed.
If you are in Vientiane, your Laos Visa extension can be done at the Immigration Office behind the Joint Development Bank (JDB) on Lane Xang Avenue, opposite the Morning Market. The office is open Monday-Friday, from 8:00am-4:00pm (closed 12:00 to 13:00 at lunchtime). The office is closed for applications on Friday afternoon.
One passport type photo
Service fee of US$3
Application fee of 3,000 kip per person
Visa extension fee : $2 per day if you have valid visa, $10 per day if your visa is already expired (overstayed days)
Get a travel agent or specialist provider to do your Laos visa extension for you.
Most travel agents can arrange a Laos visa extension for you with a small overhead fee. This varies between providers, so shop around for the best deal.
The process is straight forward, just fill out the application form then submit together with your passport and pay the fees. In normal circumstances your visa is usually ready the same day.
If you only plan to stay for a few more days this option could work out best.
If you are in Vientiane it is very easy, you can take a public bus (around 10,000 kip) to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge. Complete the immigration procedures on the Lao side; the take the shuttle bus (5,000 kip) to the Thai immigration point and enter Thailand. If you want to come straight back into Laos you simply have to cross the road to the Thai immigration to exit the country. Once again, get the shuttle bus and then arrive at the Lao side, where you can apply for a Laos Visa on Arrival.
Your passport must have at least 6 months of remaining validity and a blank page for a visa stamp and don’t forget to take enough cash (US dollars) for the visa fee and two passport sized photos.
Laos has only basic healthcare. Precautionary measures like eating onely well cooked food, drinking bottled water, staying hydrated, avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes and wearing protective clothing will help prevent most common ailments.
Hotel rooms are available in Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Savannakhet and Pakse. The rooms are varied with or without air-conditioning, hot water, bathtub, TV, etc. Prices are from about US$25 to US$150 per night depending on the facilities available.
Typically occupying large two-storey homes of recent vintage, but occasionally you will find them in more historic and charismatic wooden houses. In places such as Don Det in southern Laos or Muang Ngoi Neua in northern Laos you will come across guesthouses consisting of simple bamoo-thatch huts with shared facilities.
Staying in a village home is becoming popular. Homestays are invariably in rural areas, provide a chance for travellers to experience Lao stylelife. Homestays can be arranged through tour companies, and sometimes you can talk directly with families for homestay.
The term "resort" in the Lao context may be used for any accommodation situated outside towns or cities. Resort are varied. Some resorts provide sport facilities, spa, etc. while others provide more eco-tourism style stays.
FOR YOUR COMFORTABLE STAY
Because of small differences in each culture, people sometimes feel uncomfortable each other. We hope you enjoy our country without experiencing uncomfortableness.
When you visit temples (call "Wat") avoid wearing sleeveless shirts and short skirts/pants.
When you enter a Wat or a private home please remove your shoes. In traditional homes, people sit on low seats or cushions on the floor. Men usually sit with their legs crossed or folded to one side, women prefer the latter. Upon entering, guests may be served fruit or tea. These gestures of hospitality should not be refused.
Since the head is considered the most sacred part of the body and the soles of feet the least, please don't touch a person’s head nor use one’s foot to point at a person or any object. Men and women rarely show affection in public. It is also forbidden for a woman to touch a Buddhist monk.