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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.