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Welcome to Lao


Official name:

Lao People's Democratic Republic ( Lao PDR.)


Area :

236.800 sq.km. (91,430 sq.miles).

Capital :

Vientiane Municipality



16 Provinces, 1 Municipality, 1 Special Region and 141 Districts

Population :

6.2 million. (Year 2003)


Density :

26.18 inhabitants/sq.km.


People's Supreme  Assemly , President of the Repulic, council of Ministries. 13 Ministries,
3 Ministry equivalent committees


Location :

Indochina Peninsula sharing borders with china to the North, Myanmar to the North-west, Thailand to the West, Vietnam to the East and Cambodia to the South.

Ethnic groups:

Lao 48% ;
Mon-Khmer 25%,  tribal Thai 14%,
Sino Tibetan (including  the Hmong and Yao) 13%, Vietnamese and Chinese 1%


Climate :

Tropical monsoon with two main seasons , dry season ( October-April ),  rainy season (May-September).


Lao (official), French and English




Local Time

GMT +7



Laotian kip = 100 cents. Notes of kip 5,000, 2,000, 1000, 500, 100 and 50.

Business Hours

Office hours: 0800-1200 and 1300-1600, Monday to Friday.


Electricity supply

220V, 50 Hz


Banks, licensed offices, and hotels. Credit cards/traveller's cheques not widely accepted. Cash US dollars and Thai baht universally accepted. Small denominations very useful.



Tipping is not customary in Laos. However, small gratuities may be given in appreciation for efficient, friendly service.


Apart from cultural shows presented at some hotels, there is no established nightlife catering to tourists.



Basic supplies are available. Observe normal courtesy when photographing people, especially monks. Avoid taking photographs at airports and military locations.


Lao Public Holidays

New Year 1-Jan
Army National Day 20-Jan
Makhabusa Day 8-Feb
Women International Day 8-Mar
Lao Popular Revolutionary Party Day 22-Mar
Lao Buddhist New Year 13-16-Apr
Labor International Day 1-May
Visakhabusa Day 7-May
Child International Day 1-Jun
Khao Phansa Day 5-Jul
Constitution Day 15-Aug
Khao Padab Din Day 18-Aug
Power Seizing Day 23-Aug
Khao Salak Day 2-Sep
Oak Phansa Day 2-Oct
Boat Racing Festival Day 3-Oct
Teacher National Day 7-Oct
That Luang Festival Day 31-Oct
National Day 2-Dec


Boat Racing Festival


September  2nd

This festival will be held in Sebangfai District, and will include exciting boat races on the Sebangfai River, a trade fair of agricultural products and local handicrafts, and traditional Lao music and dance performances; at the same time, citizens will make offerings to the dead in order to share merit with them.


Boat Racing Festival
Luang Prabang

August 17 - 18th

This festival will include boat races on the Mekong River and a trade fair in Luang Prabang city; during the Khao Salak festival, citizens will visit local temples to make offerings to the dead in order to share merit with them.


Boat Racing Festival

September 2nd

This festival is held in association with Ok  Pansa, which marks the end of the monks’ three-month fast and retreat during the rainy season; a long-boat racing competition is held in order to worship the river spirits.


Boat Racing Festival

October 2nd - 3rd

In Vientiane, the water festival held during Ok  Pansa is spectacular; on the first day at dawn, donations and offerings are made at temples around the city; in the evening, candlelight processions are held around the temples, and hundreds of colorful floats decorated with flowers, incense and candles are set adrift down the Mekong River in thanksgiving to the river spirits; the next day, a popular and exciting boat racing competition is held on the Mekong.





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


Website: http://www.saomaitours.com/  http://www.saomaitours.com.vn/   Contact: info@saomaitours.com or saomaitours@hcm.vnn.vn