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When to Visit

Laos has three distinct seasons, all with their advantages and disadvantages.  The best time to visit overall is the cool season, between November and February.  By November, the rains are usually over, all rivers are navigable and roads are pasable.

The hot season, from March to May is very dry, but in some places, around Lao New Year, 14th - 16th April, accomodation of your choice may be harder to find.   During this time, some rivers are harder to navigate, and boat journeys in remote places may not be possible.

The rainy season, from June to October, whilst the country at its most beautiful and lush, can be difficult to get around in remote places by road.  Rivers are always accesible at this time


Getting in by Air

From Bangkok to Vientiane International airport , 02 Flights per days.

From Chiangmai Thailand to Luangprabang and Vientiane , 03 flights per week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday departure time is 13:40.

From Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city /Vietnam to Vientiane Airport, there is daily flight. On Monday, Thursday the departure time is 10:05 ;On Saturday the departure time is 12:30 by QV and On Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday the departure time is 08:30 by code shared flight with Vietnam airlines (VN.).

From Phnompenh Cambodia to Vientiane daily flight except Saturday including code shared flight with Vietnam airlines (VN.).

Also from Siem Reap ( Angkor wat ) to Pakse and Vientiane 03 flights per week. On Wednesday, Sunday the departure time is 10:00 and on Friday the departure time is 10:55.

From Kunming China to Vientiane on Wednesday the departure time is 10:45 and on Sunday the departure time is 12:00.


Getting in by Land  (Please check the VISA first! )

From Thailand

Getting into Laos via Udon Thani (Thailand) and the Friendship Bridge

The Udon Thani option is probably the most convenient way to get into Laos from Thailand, more specifically, from Bangkok.  Thai Airways International domestic flights from Bangkok to Udon Thani are one third the cost of an equivalent one way flight from Bangkok to Vientiane.  The round trip ticket is half the cost of an equivalent routing to Vientiane but you will need to check the timetable as flights are subject to change.

From Udon Thani Airport, aircon buses and minivans (100 baht per person) run from the airport directly to the Friendship Bridge.   There is also a limousine service - all transportation is official and regulated. The journey from Udon Thani airport takes about 40 minutes.

At the bridge terminus, purchase a ticket, and take the shuttle bus across the bridge and the shuttle bus stops at Thai immigration.  On arrival in Laos, apply for your visa on arrival, clear immigration and take a taxi or tuk tuk from the bridge to Vientiane - Approx. 20 minutes to the city centre.

You can getting into Lao via some Thailand Provinces as below:

  • Xiang Khong, Chiang Rai Province to Huay Xai, Bokeo Province
  • Nakorn Phanom to Tha Kek, Khammouane Province
  • Mukdaharn to Savannakhet
  • Chong Mek, Ubon Rathchathani Province to Pakse
  • Houay Kone, Nan to Xaingnabouri

From Vietnam

  • Lao Bao, Khung Tri to Dan Savan, Savannakhet
  • Lak Sao, Vinh to Kaew Neua, Bolikhamsai

From China

  • Mengla, Yunnan to Boten, Luang Nam Tha



A visa is required to enter to Laos, Please contact Lao embassy or Lao consulat in your countries

VISA on arrival
You can also get a visa upon arrival at Vientiane International airport, Luangprabang airport , Pakse airport and Lao-Thai friendship bridge with The condition below
   Maximum stay 15 days.
    Visa fee USD 30
    Holds return/ onward ticket and all document required for next destination
    Holds 1 photograph size 3 x 4 cm
    Holds life insurance or Cash money at least USD 400 or certificate of bank statement.
    Holds confirmation hotel or has a contact individual person, tour or organization based in Laos.

VISA Exception
1. Holders of diplomatic or service passport of Nationality below : Brunei, Cambodia, china ( PR ), Cuba, Czech rep, Hungary, Indonesia, Korea ( Dem,People rep), Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Russia,Singapore, Slovak, Thailand and Vietnam.
2. Holders of Normal passport
    National of Malaysia
    National of Vietnam who got visa type A-B issued by Vietnam authority
    National of China with passport endorsed for public affairs


A passport and visa are required. Visas are issued upon arrival in Laos to foreign tourists and business persons at most border crossings.

You will need two passport size photographs and $30 at Wattay Airport, Vientiane; Friendship Bridge, Vientiane; and Luang Prabang Airport. Visas on Arrival are not available at the Chong Mek border crossing.

Foreign tourists are generally admitted to Laos for 15 days with a visa on arrival or for 30 days with a visa issued at a Lao embassy. The Department of Immigration in Vientiane will only extend tourist visas for one day. It is sometimes possible to get an extension for an additional 15 days by submitting an application through a tour agency. Foreigners who overstay in Laos risk arrest, and they will be fined $5 for each day upon departure.

Foreign tourists planning on entering Laos at any international checkpoint where Visas on Arrival are not available must obtain a visa in advance. Check with your nearest Lao Embassy as these are subject to change at short notice.

Immigration offices at some of the less used border-crossing points are net well marked. Travelers should make sure that they complete immigration and customs formalities when they enter Laos. Travelers who enter Laos without completing these formalities may be subject to fine, detention, imprisonment, and/or deportation.


A Laos TOURIST visa is usually issued for a SINGLE entry within three months from the date of issue for a period of stay not to exceed 30 days. The visa may be extended in Laos for a further 15 days.

A Laos BUSINESS visa is usually issued for a SINGLE entry within three months from the date of issue for a period of stay not to exceed 30 days. The visa may be extended in Laos for a further 30 days.

A multi-entry business visa can only be issued after a business joint- venture has been established. Higher consular fees apply.

Passport must have at least six months validity remaining, and one blank visa page in order for the visa to be issued. TDS can assist with expediting U.S. Passports whether new issue, renewal, and adding visa pages.


Frequently asked questions:


Q. Do I need to get a visa before visiting Laos?

A. Not if you enter via the Friendship Bridge, Wattay (Vientiane) International Airport or Luang Prabang International Airport. You can also get a visa at Ban Muang Kao / Chong Mek 


Q. I have heard that it is cheaper to get a Lao visa in Bangkok - how do I do this?

A. The cost of a visa in Bangkok is about $10 cheaper in Bangkok - but by the time you get to our embassy (which is situated right out of town) and back, and then return to pick up your visa, you will have wasted a lot of time and money.  The cheapest, fastest and easiest option is to get a visa on arrival at Vientiane Airport, Luang Prabang Airport or at the Friendship bridge.


Q. I heard that you can get Visa on Arrival at the border with Thailand at Chong Mek - is this true.

A. There was a time when you could do this, but this is no longer the case.


Q. How long is a tourist visa valid for?

A. 14 days, but you may extend it for $US3 a day, at any travel agent in in Vientiane.


Lao’s embassies and consulats




Embassy of Lao PDR
1 Dalman Crescent
Canberra, ACT

Embassy of Lao PDR
Jalan Kintamani Raya
c15 No 33
Kuningan Timur, Jakarta

Embassy of Lao PDR
Moscow 121069
Katchalova 18 




Embassy of Lao PDR
15-17 Mao TseTung Blvd
PO Box 19

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Embassy of Lao PDR
3-3-22 Nishi-Azabu

Embassy of Lao PDR
179-B Goldhill Centre
Thomson Road




Embassy of Lao PDR
Sanlitum Dongsie jie
Beijing 100600

Embassy of Lao PDR
1 Loront Damai Tiga
Kuala Lumpur 55000

Embassy of Lao PDR
Badstrandvagen 11
11265 Stockholm




Embassy of Lao PDR
7 Are calle 36A
505 Miramar
Havana, CUBA

Embassy of Lao PDR
Ikh Toiruu
PO Box 1030
Ulan Bator

Embassy of Lao PDR
Soiramkhamhaeng 39
Bangkapi, Bangkok




Embassy of Lao PDR
74, Av. Raymond Poincare
75011 Paris

Embassy of Lao PDR
Na 1 Diplomatic
France Road, Yangon

Permanent Mission of Lao PDR
317 East 51 Street
New York




Embassy of Lao PDR
Am Lessing 6
53639 Koenigswinter 1

Embassy of Lao PDR
34 Lapu-Lapu Street
Magallaness Village

Embassy of Lao PDR
2222 S Street NW
Washington DC




Embassy of Lao PDR
E53 Panchsheel Park
New Delhi - 17

Embassy of Lao PDR
UL Rejtana 15/26
02-516 Warsaw

Embassy of Lao PDR
22 Rue Tran Binh Trong
SR of Vietnam





R# 307 – 309 Cotec building , 7  Nam Quoc Cang

Disttrict 1 , Ho Chi Minh City

R# 304 North Star building , 4  Da Tuong St.

Hoan Kiem Dist. Hanoi

Tel. (84-8) 9253385 / 9253378

Fax. (84-8) 9253378 / 8395619

Tel. (84-4) 9423315 / 9423316

Fax. (84-4) 9423316 / 8647360

E-mail. saomaihanoi@fpt.vn

E-mail.  saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn


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