1. Get Service Information
2. Formalities and regulations
3. How to get to Laos
4. Official holidays
Major hotels offer fully equipped business centers for visiting executive. Services include secretarial work, fax facilities, typing, photocopying, conference rooms and reference libraries.
Government offices are open a five-day week basis (Monday through Friday) between 8:00 AM and 4:00PM with a noon to 1:00 PM. But private businesses open six days a week perhaps 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Newspapers and Magazines
There are three daily newspapers in Laos: Vientiane Mai, Passason and Lao News Agency (KPL). Right now, KPL is produced daily in English and French distributed to Government Official, embassies and organizations. But Vientiane Times, is only one of the Lao PDR’s English language newspaper and Le RENOVATEUR is weekly French language newspaper. Discover Lao PDR Magazines provide special information on cultural and eco-tourism. If you read Lao do try to get Vannasin Magazine.
Ministry of Information and Culture Bookstore behind the Culture Hall sells magazines, Newspapers, and has foreign language books.
Tourist Information Services
Tourist information is available at the Lao National Tourism Co. They provide Brochures, Maps and much useful information on tours, dining and accommodation. The head office in Vientiane on Lane Xang Avenue or you can contact local offices near you. All Travel Agencies information offices are open six days a week from 8.00AM to 4.00PM.
Plane tickets can be reserved through Lao Aviation head office in Vientiane or through any authorized Lao Aviation agents.
FORMALITIES AND REGULATIONS
All visitors entering Laos must possess valid passports. Tourist visa is valid for 15 days staying. Over staying a visa will be fined $ 5.00 at the time of departure.
International check points
1. Wattay International Airport-Vientiane
3.Luang Prabang International Airport
(Visa fee $30 at the above check points)
Currency & Exchange Services
The currency of Laos is kip. One US dollar approximately 10,810 kip. Now, traveler cheques in other currencies are best changed in Vientiane or in main cities only. And they also could be conveniently cashes at all most provincial banks except local exchange shop. The authorized moneychangers will calculate at time of bank rate of that day. Exchange at the black market is illegal and will be fined. All of the banks in Laos provides standard service from Monday to Friday but the exchange shop open 7 days a week from 9:00 AM-15PM.
Furthermore, all domestic and foreign bank in Vientiane allow cash withdrawals on Visa credit card or Master Card. Right now, in the main cities credit cards can be used in hotels, guest houses, restaurants. However, in the remote areas is advisable to take kip with you. The authorized moneychangers will calculate at the bank rates.
International credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express are accepted in major establishments in key cities.
HOW TO GET TO LAOS
Visitors arrive through Vientiane Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang Airport and Pakse Airport by Lao Aviation, Vietnam Airline, The Southern China Airline, Thai airway International. And Regular flights to Bangkok, Hochimih City, Hanoi, Plnom Penh, Chiang Mai & Kunming. Tel: (021) 212051-3.
Wattay International Airport which is connected by daily flight to all parts of Laos to Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet & Xiengkhouagn by ATR 72, Y7 & Y12Tel: (856-21) 212057-8 ( see advertising on page 80-81)
The most important road is route No 13 linking from Pak Mong in the north to Kong in the south through Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet, Champasack with 18.153 km of national roads with 2,500 km from China to Cambodia. Two more important roads No1 and No8 linked between Thailand and China by road, No9 linked between Thailand and Vietnam. Domestic bus services (Air-conditioned and regular) reaching in to all corners of Lao PDR every day.
-Vientiane’ Northern/Southern/ all corners of Vientiane Municipality. Bus Terminal at Morning Market (856-21) 215587 -Vientiane’ Northern at Evening Market (Ban Nognduang).
Entrance to Lao PDR through borders check points, which are open daily from 8:30 am-17: 00pm as below:
-Via south of China, Muangla to Boten check point in Luang Namtha Province.
-Via Nongkai to Vientiane by friendship Bridge (Shuttle bus)
-Via Chiang khong (Thailand) to Houeixay by crossing Mekhong River (Boat or Ferryboat).
-Via Mukdahan (Thailand) to Savannakhet (Boat or Ferry boat)
-Via Chongmek to Pakse in Champasack Province (Cross/Boat/Ferry boat,bridge & Shuttle bus.)
-Via Vinh (Vietnam) to Lak Xao km20, Kham Keuth District, Borikhamxay Province (Bus/Truck
-Via Lao-Bao to Savannakhet by road No9.
1. January 1 New Year’s day
2. April 13-15 Lao New Year
3. May 1 International Labor day
4. December 2 National day
1. April 13-15 Lao New Year
2. May Full Moon Day Visakha bousa
3. May (end) Rocket festival
4. July Full Moon Day Asalha bousa
5. October (midd) Boat racing
6. November (mid) That Luang Festival
Festival and Annual Events
Many Lao festivals are joy full, colorful events that invite visitors’
participation. Most festivals are connected either with Buddhism.
Chronologically, Laos’s major festivals and events are listed below:
Wat Phou festival,
The traditional festival of Wat Phou is celebrated annually during the full Moon of the third lunar month (February) and organized before the angkor’s ceremony. Thousand of tourist and the residence of Champassack celebrate the festival. The festival include water buffalo fighting, cock fighting, elephant races and more and more traditional performances.
That Ing Hang and Heuan Hine festival,
That Ing Hang festival (in Savannakhet), one of a attract a number of tourists and Buddhist pilgrims each year, during the full moon in February the residence of Savannakhet and thousand of visitors from Vientiane will go to joy them. This festival starts before the Wat Phou festival. But Heuan Hine festival (in Savannakhet), cerebrated at the time of the full moon of March.
Lunar New Year, is the Chinese and Vietnamese communities New Year in Laos. Firecrackers explode throughout their holiday and month-watering cakes and sweetmeats are made especially for visitors.
April 13-15, Lao New Year,
Boun Pimai (Lao New Year) is the traditional Lao New Year and is celebrated with special for three days holiday. All most every house set up party to celebrate their New Year at home and invite friends and relatives to participant.
The small conical mounds of sand decorated with papers and streamers which appear in Wat compounds to ward the end of the festival serve to assist the builders’ requests to the gods for health and happiness.
Boun Bang Fai(rocket Festival)
The rocket festival, is held at the sixth month of the solar-lunar calendar, and best seen in Vientiane and provincial construct gigantic rockets to fire in to the sky to ensure plentiful rain during the forthcoming rice season. A large rocket of bamboo made by villages or government enterprises are highly decorated and carried to a large launching structure by several people while chanting, drumming, folk dances, ribald and high-spirited revelry before the rockets are ceremoniously launched.
Boun Ok Phansa(Buddhist Lent)Boun khao Phansa takes three months, from full moon in July to full moon in October to marks monks during the rainy season and a period of fasting for the monks. The biggest event of the Ok Phansa festival, Boun Souang Heua is the boat race festival. Held the day after Ok Phansa. The boat race takes place on the Mekong River, long boats with a crew of fifty or more men or women team rowing wooden pirogues to the beat of drums in competition for the coveted trophy.
The easiest way for foreigners to enjoy the spectacle is for them to go to the river bank which is the scene of a fair for about three kilometres north from Land Xang Hotels to Sunset bar.
That Luang Festiva
Boun That Luang is a three day biggest religious festival celebrated at full moon in November, this is a Buddhist festival to honor all that’s.In the
nighttime fireworks display is held within the walls.
Where to stay in Vientiane
Laos has world-class accommodation for tourists, from International standard hotels to economy class facilities in major cities, which is probably unsurpassed in terms of attentiveness, courteous service and affordability. Tourist destination such as Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, Champasack offer modern first-class hotels with very conceivable convenience and international standard convention facilities for groups numbering from 150 to 1000 and upward.
Guesthouses, Family-style hotels, bungalow complexes, hotels a range of accommodation costing anywhere from a few dollars to hundreds of dollar a night.