Laos

Destination

Laos

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Learn more about our destination packages and the amazing attractions Laos has to offer.

One of the most diverse countries in the Indo China group.  Stemming from an ancient Asian dynasty to becoming a French protectorate to Independence to Russian Communism. 

Colonial French Architecture can be found in the capital Vientiane and other large cities such as Luang Prubang.   

Beautiful Buddhist Temples are dotted all over Laos.  One of the more popular temples being the gold covered That Luang in Vientiane  where it is believed lies a breast bone of bone of Buddha.

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Laos is traversed by the Meekong River that winds its way through mountains and hilltribe villages. River Cruises on the Meekong have become hugely popular over the last decade. 

Located in a Tropical Climate Region, the best months to visit Laos are October through April.  This will ensure the lowest rainfall. 

Lao is the official language, however, only half the country speak Lao. The rest of the country speaks regional ethnic dialects.  French is taught in schools and still very broadly spoken. Road signs throughout the country are in Lao & French. English is becoming more acceptable and spoken in recent years.  Perhaps a result of the massive tourism influx over the last 25 years. 

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What you need to know

Information and Facts

Laos is a place of awe with its mountainous terrain, natural beauty, French colonial architecture, Buddhist temples and rich history dating back to over 10,000 years.  The capital, Vientiane, is famous for the “Pha That Luang,” a 16th century, gold-covered Buddhist temple and a must-see for its many references to the country’s culture and ancient roots (it has become a national symbol for Laos).

Laos: Facts & Information

Weather

Laos is mostly sub-tropical with changes defining each season. The hot season (March to May) sees temperatures soar well into the 30’s. The dry season (November to February) gets cooler as the temperatures drop to around 15C or lower. May to October bring humidity and rain.

Safety

Tourist locations in Laos are generally safe all year round. The water may not always be suitable to drink; however, filtered bottled water is available for purchase. It is recommended to have copies on-hand of your important documents, while keeping them stored separately from the originals. We recommend that all our travellers purchase travel insurance.

Vaccinations

While some vaccines may be recommended when travelling around Asia – WHO recommends travellers be up to date with their Tetanus, Diphtheria and Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B shots – there aren’t any known ailments or endemic diseases where there is a need for a particular immunisation required for travel.

In general, prior to departure for any vacation, it’s always best to speak with your physician, who knows your medical history, and can assess any risks involved with your intended destination.

Currency & Customs

The currency in Laos is known as the Lao Kip. For entry into Laos, Canadian travellers must have a Visiting Visa (valid for 60 days), a passport validity of an expiry date of at least six months passed the time of your departure, two passport photos and an entry fee.

Electricity

The standard electrical voltage in Laos is 230 volts AC, 50Hz. It is recommended for certain appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners to bring both a plug adapter and converter. For newer electronics such as tablets or smartphones, a plug adapter may only be needed as the voltage could automatically adjust.

Language

The official language of Laos is Lao. However, French is commonly spoken as well. English is a language spoken by many hoteliers, tour operators and retailers in main cities.

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Melbourne, Cairns & Sydney!

The tours in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney were exceptional.  The guides were all very informative and helpful when explaining the sites, sometimes throwing in their own personal stories too.  In Melbourne we enjoyed: the hop on/off bus tour, the Central Historical tram, the Treasury and ANZAC Memorial is is very worthwhile, The Great Ocean Road with our small group tour was fabulous and the Penguin Parade with underground viewing is definitely a must-see!  The Cairns tours are remarkable; I enjoyed our small personalized group travel to Frankland Island (including guided walk), the Kuranda Train, Skyrail and Hartley’s offered a great variety and St. Monica’s Cathedral with its stained glass windows are a hidden gem!  In Sydney, we enjoyed so much; the Ferry boat was easy to manage, The Sydney Opera House was definitely a highlight, our Harbour Cruise was fantastic and our Blue Mountains tour with hike was lovely, definitely another must-experience.

In addition to the terrific tours, our flights and connections were seamless and the personal touches and the variety of experienced offered on this trip was one of a kind!  I look forward to working with you again in the not too distant future!

W. MGee

Australia, Africa, and more!

“A group of 9 travelers wanted to do a tour of Australia. 4 of us have been using Jason at Downunder Travel since 2005. We are a group with agricultural interests so we were hoping to see the diversity of Australia with as many ag components as possible. We met with Jason and he compiled an itinerary for us which gave us another trip of a lifetime. Jason’s attention to detail is truly amazing. Everything happened without a glitch which makes for a worry-free holiday. He also allowed for some free days if anything needed rearranged. We are already planning our next holiday with his company. Kudos to Jason!”

T. Evans

Wonderful Thailand and Myanmar!

Thanks for organizing and planning our recent trip to Thailand and Myanmar. We had a wonderful, magical month on some Thai islands, and tremendously enjoyed Mandalay and particularly, Bagan. The hot air balloon ride, is not to be missed.  Our next trip to that part of the world , we will certainly use your expertise Andree.

T. Baker

3 Week Australia Trip!

Our family would like to thank you for coordinating an amazing trip to Australia!  We only had 3 weeks but we were able to experience so much with an itinerary that was seamless and worry free!

Every spot was memorable, from the Grampians to Kangaroo Island, to a liveaboard on the GBR and the bright lights of Melbourne and Sydney  – a spectacular country and can’t wait to go back!

We definitely recommend Downunder Travel and are grateful to Andree for all her help and expertise in creating a wonderful adventure!

Maureen

Best Vacation Ever

Jason created the Best Vacation Ever for us – a month long trip to Australia travelling the east coast, the Red Center and south. All arrangements, locations, excursions, transfers were well executed which resulted in a stress free vacation for us! Thanks so much for your attention to all the details. Would definitely recommend that others trust Jason to make their entire trip as spectacular as ours was.
Gregory’s and Short’s

L. Gregory

A Phenomenal South Pacific Adventure

A special thanks for putting my phenomenal South Pacific Adventure of a lifetime together.  Much appreciation for all the hard work that you have endured to make my trip a most memorable adventure.  I have totally enjoyed every aspect of the trip.  I will definitely recommend this itinerary to anyone looking for a trip of a lifetime.

A. Millette

New Zealand Self-Drive

“We spent 6.5 wonderful weeks exploring both Islands in New Zealand. Jason met with us to understand our interests and a sense of where we hoped to travel while there. Accommodations, day trips, half day tours etc all ran without a hitch. At one point we thought we might be seeking medical assistance at a drop in clinic. Not sure about the process with Medical Insurance, we sent him a note to which he quickly responded and we really appreciated. We are very thankful for the arrangements and bookings that helped make the time there truly great. Thanks Jason.”

D. Nixon

African Safari

“Our group of 4 travelled to Africa, 4 different countries, many flights, hotels and tours under the guidance of Jason at Down Under Travel. The trip was amazing especially the safaris. Jason’s attention to detail made this trip outstanding. Truly a trip of a lifetime that was arranged perfectly. Don’t hesitate to book with this company, you will not be disappointed.”

M. O'Bryan

Southern Africa 25 Day Tour

“Heard about this place through a friend and decided to inquire about a trip to Southern Africa. Jason did a fantastic job with very little time and set up a 25 day trip, flights included. Was excellent at every stage and everything went off without a hitch. Would absolutely recommend, and will most definitely be a repeat customer.”

J. Szoo

Selection of excursions were suited to our interests

Kudos to Sawyer, our travel agent from Downunder Travel, who did a fantastic job of arranging our trip to Fiji. Her attention to detail was impeccable.

We were delayed for takeoff from Calgary to San Francisco due to weather and Sawyer helped us with our hotel bookings and transfers en-route to San Francisco. As well, she automatically readjusted our Fiji itinerary to coincide with our missed arrival dates in Fiji.

When we were planning our trip, we told Sawyer what our interests were, and her selection of excursions were exactly suited to our interests. Her choice of accommodations was excellent.

Jim & Mary

Super Thank-You for completely arranging our 5 week trip!

We would like to say a super Thank You to Jason Webb at Downunder Travel. For completely arranging our 5 week trip to New Zealand, Australia, Bora Bora, Paul Gauguin Cruise in Tahiti & return to Canada. Jason booked all our airline travel, chauffeur pick ups, & travel dates. These were very convenient scheduled & were all on time. Twelve air planes in 34 days. Jason had the knowledge & experience to pre-book excellent hotels, exceptional tours & timely transfers. We had a memorable, enjoyable carefree trip due to Jason’s knowledgeable preparation.

Bonnie & Kent

NZ and Cook Islands

“Jason planned our 3 week honeymoon to New Zealand and Cook Islands in October 2016. Jason was very knowledgeable and saved us so much time not trying to plan the trip details ourselves! We had an amazing time, with everything going smoothly. Overall, happy to recommend his service to anyone else planning to go “down under” 🙂 .”

L. Filipic

Ghan Platinum Trip

Just to let you know we arrived safely back home late yesterday after a wonderful trip. Thank you for setting it all up. We saw almost no rain but the day that it did rain was when we arrived in Darwin. Having Platinum [The Ghan] meant our transfer bus was right beside the train whereas the Gold passengers had quite a walk to get to the station. The train is almost a kilometer long so it meant a walk in the rain for some.

G. Bernhardt

I wouldn’t have put it all together the way you did!

I just wanted to thank you for all the great advice and information that you provided for our recent trip to Australia.  I am the type of traveller that tends to search on in the internet and book things on my own, so using a travel agent for our trip wasn’t my first thought. However the trip we had planned was quite complicated with multiple destinations which involved several flights, varied accommodation,  local transportation, and tours  and I know I wouldn’t have been able to put it all together the way you did.  This was a trip that we booked with short notice which made it even more complicated. Once we met with you,  I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders,  and I had confidence in your recommendations. You really know Australia and it shows. I truly felt that we had a better vacation because of you. The tours in Tasmania and the Daintree were spectacular,  and everything went very smoothly from start to finish.  I felt that we received excellent service and advice and we really got great  value for our travel dollars. We have recommended you to several friends,  and will be calling on you again in the future if our travels take us ‘down under’!

The Baillie family

We will be recommending you to anyone we know

We absolutely loved our vacation, Jason!  Kudos to you with your recommendations, bookings, etc.  Everything came off without a hitch –  excursion pickups, airport shuttles were always on time.  We made out great driving on the wrong side of the road, and steering wheel on wrong side of car lol.  Air New Zealand was a great choice for our main flights, flight attendants came to our seats and thanked us personally for flying with Air New Zealand.  Again, we have to thank you so much Jason for helping us plan such a fantastic vacation – such a great time.  Hopefully we will vacation in another area you sell and we’ll need your services again.  We will definitely be recommending you to anyone we know.

C. Hinks