Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Laos. Visas on arrival are available at the airport and are payable in US dollars with the price based on nationality and subject to change without notice. Passports must be valid for at least six months before the date of entry.
Laos enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round. The cooler, drier months of the year are from November to March; however, temperatures rarely drop below 22°C (72°F) during the day. Humidity is highest between May and September, when sunbursts follow tropical downpours and temperatures can climb to 35°C (95°F). However, the average year-round temperature is a pleasant 25°C (77°C).
The official language of Laos is Lao, which is similar to the northeastern dialect of Thai. French is still spoken by many of the older generation, while English is common around commercial centres.
The national currency is the kip. Major credit cards are accepted in hotels and larger establishments. Most currencies and traveller’s cheques are easy to cash, and Thai Baht and Euros can be used, but the recommended currency is the US dollar. Only a few ATM machines are available in town.
A doctor can be arranged 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. There are no particular immunisations required for entry into Laos unless the traveller is coming from a yellow fever-infected area. No vaccinations are required.
Electricity is 220 volts/50 cycles. Laos is seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the cooler months of December and January, guests should pack warm clothes for early mornings and evenings, with lighter clothing for the rest of the day. During the summer months, guests are advised to wear light yet conservative attire, especially on temple visits. Guests should, at all times, travel with comfortable walking shoes and a wide-brimmed hat.