Laos officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in SoutheastAsia, bordered by Burmaand People's Republic of Chinato the northwest, Vietnamto the east, Cambodiato the south and Thailandto the west.  The country has two World Heritage Sites: Luang Prabangand Vat Phou. The government is seeking the same status for the Plain of Jars.  Much of the country lacks adequate infrastructure.

This land-locked mountainous country is gaining a reputation as an tourist destination. Its many rivers flow through the country and natural national parks are ideal for activities such as trekking, kayaking and caving. The capital, Vientiane, and the other major towns have been spared major modern developments with traditional and colonial architecture still dominant.

Vientiane is the capital of Laos. It has an estimated population nearly 700,000 (2007).  The historic Angkor Wat is located in the city of Siem Reap.  Luang Prabang is the ‘Jewel of the Mekong.  It is surroundedby mountains and is  situated at the meeting of the Mekong and Khan rivers, and reflects an atmosphere of remote serenity and informal splendor.

Climate & Weather

Throughout most of the country, the climate is hot and tropical, with the rainy season between May and October when temperatures are at their highest. The dry season runs from November to April, which is the best time to visit as the temperature is at its most comfortable. However, the mountainous areas can be very cold at this time.  Please visit:http://www.wunderground.com for more details on weather.
Customs and Formalities

Travelers to Laos do not have to pay duty on 500 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500g of tobacco; 2 bottles wine; 1 bottle of other alcohol; and jewelry up to 500g, provided they are from countries not bordering Laos.  Any antique items purchased in other countries must be declared to customs on arrival in Laos.

What to bring

Lightweights and rainwear, with warmer layers from October to March and for upland areas.
Currency, Exchange and ATM

Lao Kip (LAK; symbol ₭) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of ₭50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.  Thai Baht and US Dollars are the easiest currencies to exchange. They are also widely accepted in shops, markets and hotels in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.  Major credit cards are accepted in the more upmarket hotels and restaurants only in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.  ATMs are usually not available.

Heath Requirements

You should seek medical advice about vaccinations and endemic diseases at least three weeks prior to departure. There have been Avian Influenza poultry outbreaks in northern Laos provinces. Malaria exists throughout the country except in Vientiane, and typhoid and cholera occur in some areas. A typhoid vaccine is recommended for all travelers except short-term business travelers who will restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels. Diarrhoea is a problem for many visitors; only drink bottled water and avoid dairy products, uncooked meat and fish, salads and unpeeled fruit. Medical care in Vientiane is extremely basic and outside the capital there are no reliable facilities to deal with medical emergencies. Medical evacuation is difficult to organize and very expensive. Travelers are advised to take out comprehensive medical insurance, and those who have an unstable medical condition should consider not traveling to Laos.

Airport Tax

Usually included in the ticket price.

Internet

Internet cafes are located in the major towns and are becoming increasingly common in places frequented by backpackers. High-speed connection is only available in places such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

Language

The official language is Lao; however, many tribal languages are also spoken. French, Vietnamese and some English are spoken.

Local Time and Working Hour

Local Time: GMT + 7.

Banking hours: Monday – Friday  08:30am – 4:00pm

Shopping hours: Vary but generally Monday to Saturday from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Passport and Visa

Australians must have a passport valid for six months and a visa is required.  A 15-day visa on arrival is now available for nationals arriving at Vientiane International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport. Visas are not extendable.   A one-month visit visa is available from the Laos embassy provided the applicant has a guarantor in Laos.  The cost is US$30 for on arrival visa and US$50 for a visit or business visa.

Food

Dishes are a blend of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese in flavor and presentation. The cheapest and easiest way to sample Lao food is from the stalls in the markets.  The national specialties are sticky rice, Lao-styled papaya salad and white rice noodle soup served with beef.  The national drink is rice whisky.

Post and Telecommunications

Country code: 856. The General Post Office (GPO) offers public telephones for national and international calls.  Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies. Check with your service provider. Coverage is sporadic and mainly situated around Vientiane.  The General Post Office (GPO) is located beside the Morning Market in Vientiane.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin flat or round plugs are in use.

Shopping

The markets in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are worth visiting. Silk, cotton fabrics, wood carvings, pottery, silver jewelry and handmade shirts are excellent buys. Lao sarongsand hill tribe bags are a popular souvenir.  The shopping hours vary but generally they are Monday to Saturday from 9:00am – 5:00pm

Bargaining & Tipping

Tipping is not customary, however a modest tip in return for good service is appreciated.  Although the majority of shops have fixed prices, bargaining is still advisable for many items.


All of the above information is accurate at the time of publication.

Luang Prabang Exclusive Classic Tour
 

(Luang Prabang, Laos PDR)
Private tour, daily departure
English/French speaking guide
Meals B&B
Trip code: VI-1902

 

 


"Sawadeeeee" - your guide will greet you upon arrival in Luang Prabang. Nestled on the banks of the Mekong River and surrounded by montains, Luang Prabang is one of Asia's most beautiful and enchanting cities. Take in the special feel of this unique town, by wandering around the decaying temples and French colonial villas and get a deep sense of the country's proud history. You won't regret your stay and the several excursions awaiting you!

Day 1: Luang Prabang - Arrival (no meals)
Meet upon arrival, you are welcome to Luang Prabang, the ancient first capital of Lane Xang kingdom, the center of religious life in Laos and today the World Heritage City.
Transfer to our hotel for check-in.
In the afternoon, we take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty temples still remain in the town and surrounding areas. Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana – Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple which, more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture; Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang.

Day 2: Luang Prabang - Elephant Ride

For those who want to know how elephant riding feels like, Luang Prabang is one of 2 areas of Laos that offers this activity. Plus village experience, trekking and short boat riding; all in one day activity!

Luang Prabang - Ban Pha Nom - Ban Noon - Ban Suan - Ban Ann Savan Luang Prabang
Depart from Luang Prabang; we first drive uphill toward the northeast of Luang Prabang to Ban Pha Nom, a silk waving village. We continue to Noon Rapid to visit the tomb of the 19th century French explorer Henri Mouhot; the first European to rediscover Angkor Wat and to visit the Royal Kingdom of Luang Prabang. We then drive a bit further to Ban Noon for 1 ½ hour elephant ride.
After lunch, our trek starts from Ban Suan of Hmong and Khmu ethnic minorities. After 2 hours trekking, we arrive to Tad Sae Waterfall. From here we take a fishing boat upstream to Ban Ann Savan for a transfer back to Luang Prabang.

Approximately: 1 ½ hour elephant riding/ 2 hours trekkking/1 hour transfer

Day 3: Luang Prabang - Departure (B)
After breakfast, we depart hotel to visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries…etc, if time permits, the rest of the day is spent free for own experience in this charming town, till transfer to Luang Prabang airport for departure to next destination.


Valid from 01-Apr-2015 to 30-Sep-2015

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Standard (2 star)

$600

$370

 

Superior (3 star)

$720

$430

 

First (4 star)  $860  $500  

 

 

Valid from 01-Oct-2014 to 31-Mar-2015

All prices are per person

 

Single

Twin

 

Standard (2 star)

$600

$390

 

Superior (3 star)

$720

$450

 

First (4 star) $860  $520

 

Price inclusive

  • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a double room.
  • Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above
  • Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
  • The services of experienced English/French - speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
  • Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
  • Lunches at local restaurants
  • Mineral water and wet wipe
  • Elephant riding fee
  • VAT and other taxes
Price exclusive
  • International flight tickets and airport tax from/to Luang Prabang.
  • Visas
  • Dinners, except as specified above.
  • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Camera fees (if any)
  • Diving fees
  • Insurance.
Hotels used for Standard class
City Hotel & room type Website
Luang Prabang Ancient Luang Prabang hotel www.ancientluangprabang.com

Hotels used for Superior class
City Hotel & room type Website
Luang Prabang Villa Maydou hotel http://www.villamaydou.com/
A:Available - This tour is available for booking.
R:On Request - This tour is on request only
All prices are per person.
If you are interested, please contact your local agent to make the booking or alternatively email us at reservations@toursite.com.au