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Destination: Laos

Laos
current-location

Destination: Laos

Laos

LAOS TRAVEL GUIDE

Laos is a budget traveler’s paradise. While travel costs are incredibly low in Laos, it’s also a very peaceful and tranquil place. Locals are incredibly friendly and welcoming towards tourists and eager to show off their beautiful nation.


The best time to visit Laos is between October and April, when the weather’s warm and dry throughout. However, if you plan to do a river cruise in the landlocked nation, visit between November and January because that’s when high water levels make passage easy along the Mekong River.

Things to See and Do in Laos

  • See Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Hike Mount Phousi
  • Visit the Gold Stupa Pha That Luang
  • Do a Mekong Cruise
  • Explore Pak Ou Caves
  • Visit Don Det Islands
  • Eat at a Night Market
  • Watch the Morning Alms Giving Ceremony

Typical Costs When Traveling

Accommodation – Air-conditioned double rooms can be found from $8 – $10 (70,000 to 87,000 Kip) per night, while the cheapest rooms run for $3 (26,000 Kip) for a double room with a fan.

Food – Eating local will cost you the least amount of money and you can easily get by on a budget of only $5 USD for food per day. Some of the must-try dishes include green papaya salad and sticky rice, grilled fish and pastries.

Transportation – Cities in Laos are quite small and renting a bike for a few dollars per day might be the best way to go. There are also motorcycle tuk-tuks called Jumbos that work as taxis. Prices range between $1.25 and $3 (10,000 to 26,000 Kip) per ride.

Suggested daily budget

9-22 EUR / 10-25 USD

(Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation.

Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)

Money Saving Tips

  • Eat street food. Eating out in Laos is already very cheap but if you're really on a budget, opt for street food. This also allows you to try more local bites for your buck.
  • Walk when you can. As mentioned, even the largest cities in Laos are relatively small. Early mornings and after the sun goes down are best for walking or riding your bike around.
  • Bring your own water bottle. The climate in Laos can get extremely hot and hydrating is key. If you bring your own bottle, you can not only save money but also do something good for the environment.
  • Couchsurf.Over 40,000 hosts in Laos open their homes to travelers. This also gets you more insight into how the locals really live - but be sure to only stay with recommended hosts.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM LAOS?

Laos is a predominantly Buddhist nation – so please respect their religion. This means, taking off your shoes and covering up before entering a Buddhist temple. Another great thing to remember is to never sit down with the soles of your feet pointing towards a Buddha statue.

Laos is the quiet haven in the middle of the hustle and bustle of neighboring nations like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. If you are looking for a more peaceful, yet incredibly cheap travel destination, Laos is definitely the perfect place for you!

TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR LAOS

I’m always surprised how many people travel without travel insurance. For me, it’s as essential to travel as buying a plane ticket, backpack or accommodation, and I never go without it.

Although China is relatively safe, unexpected natural disasters can always happen and I’ve witnessed people getting laptops and phones pickpocketed first hand.

Adequate insurance not only provides you with medical coverage (if you get sick or break your leg), but also covers things like your camera full of epic shots getting damaged or stolen, your flights getting cancelled, or you getting caught up in a natural disaster.

In short, it’s an insurance against potential issues that arise when you’re traveling and can save your life (or at the very least, a lifetime of debt).

BOOK | I recommend booking World Nomads travel insurance