Laos has a wide range of guesthouses, hostels and budget hotels in the tourist hotspots of Vientiane, Luang Prabang and backpacker haven, Vang Vieng. As tourism continues to grow, hotels and facilities become better, but it means that prices are creeping up.
Great choice of hostels and guesthouses in the tourist hubs:
In a similar way to Cambodia’s hotspots, the tourist hub of Luang Prabang and the capital Vientiane offer the greatest choice of accommodation from luxury hotels to cheap backpacker guesthouses. Luang Prabang with its French colonial vibe has some lovely hotels although they aren’t dirt cheap for the budget traveller and the same goes for Vientiane.
The backpacker haven, Vang Vieng has a reasonable choice of guesthouses catering mainly for the budget traveller, although further away from the main drag you will find some beautiful countryside resorts. Four Thousand Islands offer cheap guesthouses and some mid-range hotels.
Like Thailand and Cambodia, dorms are not popular in Laos. For the backpacker, guesthouses are definitely the most popular form of accommodation. Away from the main tourist areas of Laos, up in the northern mountains near Luang Nam Tha and in central Laos around Tha Kaek and Tadlo, accommodation choices become less. That said, it is still possible to find decent quality accommodation in lesser visited places like Tha Kaek in central lower and Muang Ngoi in the north.
WIFI in the cities and towns & free bananas in Luang Prabang!
In Luang Prabang and Vientiane you will be able to find free WIFI in hotels and some guesthouses. You will pay more for facilities such as Cable TV and a fridge in your room and you are likely to pay extra for breakfast pretty much everywhere. B&B is not a popular concept here. Apart from a few exceptions of hotels catering for the business traveller, don’t expect WIFI anywhere else in Laos especially in the north and central Laos. Again, facilities will decline the further you are away from the tourist hotspots. Oh and in Luang Prabang, some guesthouses offer free bananas!
A cute guesthouse in Luang Prabang, Laos
Backpacker Price Guide:
Compared to elsewhere in South East Asia, you will find Laos certainly more expensive than Cambodia and Vietnam and more expensive than Thailand for the most part. Prices in the capital, Vientiane and UNESCO World Heritage City, Luang Prabang are creeping up and, compared to the likes of Chiang Mai in Thailand are a lot more expensive. In general, expect to pay around $10 for a very basic room (cold shower/fan) and around $20 for a decent, comfortable room with air-con, hot shower, cable TV and other facilities such as WIFI.