- Getting There
- Visa upon arrival is available at international airports and the Friendship Bridge. The visa costs US$30 and is valid for 15 days. Visa application forms are available at the airport, but you need to bring a passport-size photo.
- LAND BORDER CROSSINGS
For entry at all land border crossings (except Friendship Bridge to Vientiane from Nong Khai) you must apply for a visa at the embassy beforehand. The visa fee varies depending on nationality.
The local currency is the Kip. The US dollar and the Thai Baht are very popular alternatives that are widely accepted, especially for bigger purchases. It is not unusual to be quoted a price in Kip, pay in US dollars and receive Thai Baht as change. US dollars and Thai Baht can be changed at hotels, banks or any foreign exchange shop licensed by the Bank of Lao PDR. Credit cards are accepted at more and more shops and restaurants in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. All major banks, even in provincial towns, accept traveller cheques and currencies other than US dollars or Thai Baht. It is best to carry US dollar bills in small denominations. The exchange rate is around 9,000 Kip to US$1.
All major banks throughout Laos, as well as the bigger hotels in Vientiane, will change traveller cheques for US dollars or Kip.
Visa, Master Card and American Express payment facilities are increasingly being set up throughout the country. A surcharge is usually added. It is possible to get cash US dollars at the bank, for which a surcharge of 3-5% applies.
Standard time in Laos is 6 hours ahead of Central European Time (CET), 7 hours ahead of GMT, 12 hours ahead of time in New York, 3 hours behind time in Sydney and in the same time zone as Bangkok.