Why Laos ?
Laos is a mountainous landlocked country surrounded by Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and Burma. The country is twice the size of Pennsylvania. Laos culture is vibrant, beautiful, and best cherished for its small-scale rural communities and untouched wilderness. Laos offers the true depths and authenticity of South East Asia.
Laos is one of the safest tourist attractions around the world. The small but serene nation still has a lot more to offer of Asia’s rich history in its true splendor. Laos features prehistoric mountainous sites, religious Alm giving ceremony with monks walking by, the natural plunging waterfalls and Laotian gastronomy. The Laotians are also friendly and peace-loving people, but as a Buddhist settlement, they are also proud of their cultural beliefs. It is crucial to know the rules, dress conservatively, and embrace the beautiful wonders of this great nation.
Luang Prabang was the capital of Lane Xang which was Laos kingdom in the northern Laos from 1353 toll 1975. This city at the meeting point of Mekong and Nam Khan River, is renown as the country of millions of elephants. Luang Prabang, a World Heritage Site since 1995, is a small but serene city with around 30 temples scattering roundabout. It’s one of the most unique cities in southeast Asia region with the laidback lifestyle to find peace of mind and enhance the spirits. Every morning, the monks in Luang Prabang walk slowly in line around the town for alms giving ceremonies that draw the attentions of any visitors. Neighboring of Luang Prabang including Pak Ou Cave which is among the most significant religious pilgrimage destinations in Laos and Khuang Si Waterfalls with cascades of crystal water pools stretching itself in the lush jungle.
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How to Get to Laos
There are 4 international airports that three of them are available with direct flights from Asian countries including Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse. The main airport in Vientiane offers flights to Seoul, Hanoi, Singapore, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and many other destinations in China. Luang Prabang Airport is more convenient for those heading north and offers flights to Vientiane and some other destinations. The Lao Airlines also provides flights from a third international airport in Pakse to and from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bangkok and Siem Reap (Cambodia).
There are lots of border crossings to enter Laos by land. Some can take overnight sleeping trains from Thailand to the frontiers of Laos. There are also international buses available. Some Thailand borders require a visa on arrival, but visitors need to check with the borders before using them. Not all borders are open for foreigners, but these are:
Only one border crossing is available to foreigners from Cambodia. This border crosses through Cambodia, Laos, Veun Kham, and Dom Kralor. Visa on arrival is also available.
Six border crossings are open to foreigners from Vietnam and require a visa in advance. These borders include:
There is only one border crossing between Mengla (China) and Boten (Laos) open to tourists. Via on arrival is available on getting to Laos, but Visa in advance is needed to enter China. There are international buses available through the route.
Most of visitors to Laos can achieve Laos visa on arrival or proceed e-visa in advance. While some nationalities get Laos visa exemption, some need to arrange visa in advance.
Laos e-visa can be processed via official port of Laos Immigration https://laoevisa.gov.la/ taking 3 working days; and can be applied to enter Laos via 5 international ports: Wattay Airport in Vientiane, Lao-Thai Friendship bridge in Vientiane, Luang Prabang International Airport, Lao-Thai Friendship bridge in Savannakhet and Pakse International Airport.
Laos visa on arrival at the airports which is available at 27 ports of the countries; except only these 4 entries: Napao-Chalo (Vietnam), Subhun (China), Pakxan-Bueng Kan (Thailand) and Xieng Kok River port (Myanmar).
Most of Asian nationalities, and Western nationalities are exempted Laos visa for the stay from 14 days to 30 days.
14 days: Brunei, Myanmar
15 days: Japan, Switzerland, Luxembourg
30 days: Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Mongolia, Thailand, Philippines, Russia
These nationalities are eligible for Laos visa on arrival and need to apply for visa at the embassies in advance: Afghanistan, Algeria, Congo, Bangladesh, Cote d’lvoire, Burundi Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea Bussau, Jordan, Lesotho, Libya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Syria, Eswatine, Tonga, Turkey, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
When to visit Laos
Tourists can visit Laos at any time in the year, but the peak periods are around August and November to March. Laos is mostly tropical. It’s easier to find Monsoons around the rainy season from May to October. However, visiting Northern Laos around the November to February period might be too cold for some people.
Visiting around October and November brings one to the Ork Phansa Buddist festival, which marks the end of the Buddhist Lent. Tourists can watch the fireworks either when locals call for rain during the Rocket Festival in May or embrace Lao’s New Year’s celebrations in April. None of these events can happen without Laos’s famous boat races, floating offerings, river ceremonies, and processions around the nation.
Laos is also well known for its mouthwatering dishes. Famous dishes are made with spices, rice, noodles, and fresh herbs. One of the best places to get the rich taste of Laotion dishes is Vientiane, but other sites in Laos, also have many authentic dishes to offer.
The best snack to enjoy is the Kaipen, a freshwater algae delicacy, eaten with jaew bong, a dipping sauce made from thin pieces of buffalo skin, and roast chili. Travelers can treat themselves to street foods like Khao Jee with a nice cup of coffee. The Khao Jee made from chopped harm, moo yor (pork lunchmeat), carrot, sliced tomatoes, and lettuce, and topped with pâté or chili sauce.
Visitors can also try the Laotian version of the spicy noodle soup called Khao Poon. The Khao Poon is a comfort-food in Laos made from rice vermicelli noodles. The soup itself is made with lime leaves, chilies, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, and pounded meat (fish, pork, or chicken). It should be bought with toppings like spring onion, coriander, mint leaves, string bean, and many more. There are many more Laotian dishes for vacationists to savor, such as the Laos sausage and Laos phos (beef noodle soup). For lovers of beef jerky relish the Sien Savanh.
Explore around Laos
Laos map displays many great reasons to visit Laos, such as Laos ancient and atmospheric cites, boutique and charming hotels, tasty indigenous food, and Laos stunning attractions. Almost every town and village in Laos boasts of a beautiful humanmade or natural site to enjoy, but the first step any tourist should do is to determine the route to the north, south, or around Laos.
The Classic Laos route cuts through significant tourist attractions in Laos, including Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Huay Xai, and Luang Prabang. Tourists can travel through this country in a week, although having fun comes with up to 10 days ride through the cities that there is a possibility of adding 2-day boat ride through Mekong River to Luang Prbang.
Tourists can also step away from the norm and uncover many more routes. There are lots of nature’s amazing wonders to discover in Northern Laos by visiting the Luang Namtha and Nong Klaw. The lovely Luang Prabang sits in this destination, as well. Many fun activities visitors can enjoy include, cycling, caving, trekking, or kayaking through Laos National parks and gorgeous karst jungles.
Tourists can head south to either see the classic sleepy towns along the Mekong River or hop around Islands in Si Phan Don or even visit the Bolaven Plateau. They can also visit the coffee capital of Paksong, and explore the beautiful Tat Lo to see some of the loveliest waterfalls in the world.
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