Laos: Travel Info & Transport

The Basics

  • Exchange rate: See for up to date exchange rate
  • Capital city: Vientiane
  • Main religion: Buddhism
  • Main language: Lao (official)
  • Telephone code: +856
  • Time: GMT +7 hours
  • Hellos and Thank-you’s: Sabaydee (Hello) Khawp Jai (Thank you)
  • Emergency Numbers: Ambulance –  195, Fire – 190, Police – 191

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Laos Language Essentials:

  • Hello: Sabaidee
  • Thank you: Khop Chai
  • Thank you very much: Khop Chai Ly Ly
  • How are you? Sabaidee baw
  • Delicious: Sep Ly
  • I don’t understand? Baw Khowjai

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Laos Visa Information

  • Visa: Most nationalities can obtain a visa for Laos at international airports and border crossings. The cost is usually US$30 for 30 days. At the Thailand/Laos border if you pay in Thai baht the fee will be more expensive. You will need 2 passport photos and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering.
  • Visa extension: Visa extensions can be applied for at the Vientiane Immigration Office or the Luang Prabang Immigration Office, which costs US$2 / day for up to 30 days. Extensions can also be obtained from some travel agents for around US$3.
  • Penalty for late departure: US$10 /day. Long overstays can lead to arrest and imprisonment.


The wet season in Laos is between May and October and the dry season between November and April. Temperatures during this time are the most comfortable, and can be quite cold in mountainous areas. The hottest time of the year is between March and May, with temperatures reaching 38 degrees.