Laos Travel and Tourism

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Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane, Laos by Molydar Souama on Unsplash.

Travel Notes: Asia - Laos Travel Notes.

Laos Travel Notes

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Laos Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes

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Find Laos Travel and Tourist Information with links to official travel and tourism websites and state resources for visitors to Laos.

About Laos

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a mountainous country with the Mekong River forming its border with Thailand.

Travel Map Mapping Laos

In the mid-14th century the Khmer king at Angkor, Jayavarman Paramesvara, married his daughter to a Lao prince, Fa Ngum, and helped him found the independent kingdom of Lan Xang - Million Elephants - with its capital at Muong Swa; present-day Louangphrabang.

Fa Ngum, a great warrior, united the Lao principalities and was frequently at war with both the kingdom of Ayutthaya and Annam. His Khmer queen encouraged the Lao to adopt Theravada Buddhism.

Map of Laos

Map of Laos

Countries neighbouring Laos:
Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Myanmar and Thailand.

Laos Maps and Travel Guides

DK Eyewitness Cambodia and Laos (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Laos (Travel Guide)

Laos Travel Guides - Laos Maps.

Weather in Asia:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Asia.

Vientiane

The capital of Laos is on the Mekong River, almost opposite Nong Khai, Thailand. After the division of the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang into two kingdoms in the late 17th century, Vientiane became the capital of Wieng Chan.

When the Siamese seized control of Vientiane Kingdom in 1827, the city was virtually destroyed. A rebuilt Vientiane was made the administrative capital of the newly created state of Laos in 1946.

In a capital with very few street signs, directions are given by the way of traffic lights and various wats.

Pha That Luang -- copyright Travel Notes
Pha That Luang

This is the most important monument in Laos; a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty.

Follow our interesting journey by dusty road, from Vientiane to Savannakhet, in Sleepy Laos.

Hotels in Vientiane - Hotels in Savannakhet.

Getting Around Laos

By Rail

Laos has no railways.

By Road

The condition of the roads outside of the major towns are appalling, so only those who have to, or enjoy dusty adventures, use them. To travel long distance often means going by truck.

The lorry will be carrying anything from rice to petrol, quite likely both, and the passengers sit on top; squeezing in where they can.

By Air

Because of the terrain and poor land connections, an internal air service is important in Laos.

By Boat

The Mekong river is the main waterway in this landlocked exotic country of less than 5 million inhabitants; as it flows down the entire length of the country.

Other smaller rivers such as the Nam Ou, Nam Khan, Nam Ngum in the north, and Se Don in the south all run into the Mekong.

Ferries with overnight accommodation are rather basic. For shorter, water trips use the river taxis.

Engine-mounted long-tail boats, Thai-made speedboats, and even rowing boats are all available for hire.

Visiting Laos

The official language of Laos is Lao, one of the Sino-Tibetan languages. French is also used in bureaucracy.

Numerous ethnic groups have kept their own languages and dialects. Laos has 68 ethnic minorities and some of the most unspoiled countryside in Asia.

The best time to visit Laos is between November and April.

The hot season, from March to May, is very dry; making some river trips not feasible.

The Embassy of Laos in Washington DC is located at 2222 S St. NW.

Laos Highlights

When travelling within Laos, from north to south, you'll never find two places that have the same environment and style.

From historic temples, lush landscapes and welcoming smiles, the heart of Southeast Asia is waiting to be explored.

Discover Laos

From the rolling mountains of the north to the river islands of the south, ours is a land of untouched wonder and rare beauty. Rich in history, traditions, diverse landscapes and cultures, Laos is sure to captivate your inner explorer.

Laos Tourism Marketing Department:
Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism,
Lane Xang Avenue, Hatsadi Village,
Chanthabouly District Vientiane Capital.

Luang Prabang - Laos' Primary Tourist Destination

Luang Prabang is a sleepy town in northern Laos, at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan. It was the early capital of Lan Xang, between 1353 and 1545.

The French were in town from 1893 to 1954, with Luang Prabang again serving as the royal capital of Laos; from 1950 until the country became a republic, in 1975.

Most of the historic temples are between the Phu Si hill and the Mekong River. The Royal Palace Museum is a good place to start, as the displays give you a good idea of the area's history.

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Town of 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.

Accommodation in Luang Prabang

Hotels in Luang Prabang.

Grand Luang Prabang - Official Hotel Website
Grand Luang Prabang Hotel: Ban Xiengkeo, Khet Sangkalok.

Blending French Colonial and traditional Lao design, The Grand Luang Prabang is located within Xiengkeo Palace.

Prince Phetsarath chose this site for its tranquillity, stunning views of the mighty Mekong River and the breathtaking landscape of the mountains surrounding Luang Prabang.

Couples in particular liked the romatic location of the Grand Luang Prabang and its elegant outdoor swimming pool.

Villa Santi - Official Hotel Website
Villa Santi Hotel: Sakkarine Road, Luang Prabang.

Lao's leading boutique hotel, in Luang Prabang, was the former house of a Lao Royal Princess and has been elegantly renovated to gracefully blend Royal Lao and the classic French colonial decoration themes.

Guests at the Villa Santi Hotel enjoyed the tranquility and warm Lao hospitality.

Travel Around Laos

Luang Namtha, Laos' north-western most province, has large and diverse ethnic groups many of whom still live traditional life styles.

The main ethnic groups in the area are Tai Yuan, Black Red and White Tai, Tai Lue, Khmu, Rok, Akha, Lanten, Mien and Hmong.

Laos Travel Tips

When in Laos, make certain to bring a comfortable amount of smaller US dollar notes, as the local currency is too bulky to carry; given the exchange rates and denomination of their notes.

Lightly populated, Laos offers visitors a breathtaking array of stunning scenery, history, culture, great food and adventure, coupled with the opportunity to see how its diverse peoples live.

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