Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:

'Bicyle vacation Laos'

Useful addresses

Embassy of the Lao Peoples's Democratic Republic 2222 S. Street, N. W.
Washington, D. C. 20008
Tel: (202) 332-6416
Fax: (202) 332-4923

Embassy of the Lao Peoples's Democratic Republic
Victoria Road 12-14
London W8-5rd, UK
Tel: 93 71 912
Fax: 93 76 108

Embassy of the Lao Peoples's Democratic Republic
74 Avenue Raymond-Poincaré
75116 Paris
Tel: (33 1) 45 53 02 98
Fax: (33 1) 47 27 57 89
Office Hours Consular Section: Mon-Fri: 0900–1200

You need a visa for Laos and a passport that is valid until 6 months after you leave Laos. You need to get it in advance from a Laotian embassy or consulate. It is valid for 4 weeks after entering the country.

Getting a visa on entry (US$ 30 and 2 passport photos) is only possible in Vientiane, at Luang Phabang airport and at the Friendship Bridge near Vientiane. For all other border crossings you have to get a visa in advance.


In Laos facilities in other places than the touristic highlights are very basic. Guesthouses are not always clean. It is advisable to bring your own sheets.

Bicycling in Laos

Every village has its own bicycle repair shop. The standard wheel size is smaller than in the West: 26". Bring spare parts for 28" wheels (spokes, inner and outer tubes). The same goes for brake pads.


Dry season from November to April, rainy season from May to October. Temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees Centigrade, but in the North (in the mountains) it can get really cold. January is a relatively cold month. Bring some warm clothes if you travel around that time.


Mountains (highest peak 2820 m) in the north, flat in the south. Surface: 236.800 km2.


Compare car rent

Kip is the Laotian currency. Thai Baht and US dollars (also traveller's checks) can be exchanged all over the country.

Travellers checks and cash can only be exchanged in banks. Take waiting and big bags of money (because of small denominations) into account. Outside the big cities you need cash in kip and dollars. Some guesthouses accept US dollars, in that case they advertise two prices, one in kip and one in dollars. The Thai baht (cash) is often accepted, especially in West Laos. Recommended bank: BCEL (lowest commission: 0,2-1% for travellers checks if cashed in dollars, 0% if cashed in kip; 2-3% for cashing by credit card.

Laos doesn't have ATMs. You can cash with all types of credit cards for a small commission at all banks in Vientane. In the surrounding countries of at stopovers there may be ATMs.

If you know in advance which places you're going to visit, you can find out online if and where there are ATM's where you can use your MasterCard and Cirrus or Visa to withdraw money.


For up-to-date information about health risks, go to Southeast Asia | CDC Travelers' Health and to Avian Flu Fact Sheet for specific information about avian flu. Always consult your family doctor and your country's Foreign Department web site.


Laos is - except for Vientiane and Luang Prabang - a malaria region. For up-to-date information go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


For current information about security see the CIA FactBook or the US Foreign Department Travel Information. Also always inquire at your own country's Foreign Department.

Plan your trip to Laos online

Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.

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Off The Beaten Track travel magazine - travel information & travel advice Laos