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KSE Bang Fai -cueva en Laos
Templo Ho Pro Keo
Buddha Park, Vientiane
Luang Prabang
temploThat Luang
Los turistas en Laos
 
Overview Weather/Climate
Population The best time to see Laos
Language Vaccination
Visa Religion

 

Overview

The Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Laos is located in the center of Indochina, sharing borders with China to the North 416 kilometers, Myanmar to Northwest 236 kilometers, Thailand to the West 1,835 kilometers, Cambodia to the South 492 kilometers and Vietnam to the East 1,957 kilometers.

With a total area of 236,800 square kilometers, around 70% of Laos' terrain is mountainous, reaching a maximum elevation of 2,820 meters in Xieng Khouang Province. The landscapes of northern Laos and the regions adjacent to Vietnam, in particular, are dominated by rough mountains.

The Mekong River is the main geographical feature in the west and, in fact, forms a natural border with Thailand in some areas. The Mekong flows through nearly 1,900 kilometers of Lao territory and shapes much of the lifestyle of the people of Laos. In the South the Mekong reaches a breadth of 20 kilometers, creating an area with thousands of islands.

Laos Map-Asia Master Travel Tour Indochine

Laos map

Porpulation:

Population: 6.5 million.
- Density: 23 people/square kilometer.
- The population consists of 49 ethnic groups, in 4 main linguistic.

  • The Lao-Tai Family includes 08 ethnic groups: Lao, Phouthai, Tai, Lue, Gnouane, Young, Saek and Thai Neua.
  • The Mon-Khmer Family includes 32 ethnic groups: Khmu, Pray, Singmou, Khom, Thene, Idou, Bid, Lamed, Samtao, Katang, Makong, Try, Trieng, Ta-oi, Yeh, Brao, Harak, Katou, Oi, Krieng, Yrou, Souai, Gnaheune, Lavy, Kabkae, Khmer, Toum, Ngouane, Meuang and Kri.
  • The Tibeto-Burmese Family includes 07 ethnic groups: Akha, Singsali, Lahou, Sila, Hayi, Lolo and Hor.
  • The Hmong-Loumien category has 02 main tribes: Hmong and Loumien (Yao).These multi-ethnic people are scattered across the country each with their own unique traditions, culture and language.

 Language

 Lao or Laotian /ˈlʃən/[3] (ພາສາລາວ, BGN/PCGN: phasa lao, IPA: [pʰáːsǎː láːw]) is a tonal language of the Tai–Kadai language family. It is the official language of Laos, and also spoken in the northeast of Thailand, where it is usually referred to as the Isan language. Being the primary language of the Lao people, Lao is also an important second language for the multitude of ethnic groups in Laos and in Isan. Lao, like many languages in Laos, is written in the Lao script, which is an abugida script. Although there is no official standard, the Vientiane dialect has become the de facto standard.

 

Visa 
 Visa can obtained from Lao Embassies and Consulates abroad. In addition, visa can also be obtained on arrival at the international checkpoint.All visitors entering Laos must possess valid passports.

Visas are available in advance of arrival at Lao Embassies. This can be done in several ways through a tour company recognized by the Lao PDR from Lao Embassies or Consulate in countries.

For those wishing to extend their stay, it is possible to extend your visa at the Immigration Office in Vientiane, through travel agencies. It is also possible to obtain a Visa-on-Arrival at international checkpoints.

Validity starts from day of entry into Laos.

Tourist/Business: 30 days (can be extended twice in Vientiane for 30 days). Visas must be used within three months of being issued.

Passport/Visa Note: Those requiring visas should obtain them in their home country before travelling to Laos. Visas are available on arrival at international checkpoints. On entering Laos visitors must ensure they receive an entry stamp in their passport as fines for not having one are high. All visitors' passports should be valid for at least six months.

Laos Visa Extension
If you find your visa is about to expire and you wish to stay longer in Laos, don't worry, it is possible to get all types of Laos visa (except for a Transit Visa), extended at the immigration office in Vientiane. It cost US$2 per day if you apply before the expiry date. However, if you leave it until your visa expires you will be finded for US$10 per day for the days you over stayed.

If you are in Vientiane, your Laos Visa extension can be done at the Immigration Office behind the Joint Development Bank (JDB) on Lane Xang Avenue, opposite the Morning Market. The office is open Monday-Friday, from 8:00-16:00 (closed 12:00 to 13:00 at lunchtime). The office is close for applications on Friday afternoon.

Requirements

    Your passport
    One passport type photo
    Service fee of US$3
    Application fee of 3,000 kip per person
    Visa extension fee : $2 per day if you have valid visa, $10 per day if your visa is already expired (overstayed days)

Get a travel agent or specialist provider to do your Laos Visa Extension for you.
Most travel agents can arrange a Laos Visa Extension for you with small overhead fee. This varies between providers, so shop around for the best deal.

The process is straight forward, just fill out the application form the submit together with your passport and pay fees. In normal circumstances your visa is usally ready the same day.
If you only plan to stay for a few more days this option could work out best.

If you are in Vientiane it is very easy, you can take a public bus (around 10,000 kip) to the Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge. Complete  the immigration procedures on the Lao side; the take the shuttle bus (5,000 kip) to the Thai immigration point and enter Thailand. If you want to come straight back into Laos you simply have to cross the road to the Thai immigration to exit the country. Once again, get the shuttle bus and then arrive at the Lao side, where you can apply for a Laos Visa on Arrival.

Your passport must have at least 6 months of remaining validity and a blank page for a visa stamp and don’t forget to take enough cash (US dollars) for the visa fee and two passport sized photos.

Weather/Climate

Most of the year is hot and humid. Laos enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The rainy season is from the beginning of May to the end of September, and the dry season is from October through April. The yearly average temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius, rising to a maximum of 38 degrees Celsius during April and May.

In Vientiane a minimum temperature of 19 degrees Celsius is to be expected during January. In mountainous areas, however, temperature drops to as low as 14-15 degrees Celsius during the winter months, and during cold nights, can easily reach the freezing point. The average precipitation is highest in Southern Laos, where the Annamite Mountains receive over 3,000 mm. annually. In Vientiane rainfall is about 1,500-2,000 mm., and in the Northern provinces only 1,000-1,500 mm.

The best time visit Laos
The best time to visit Laos is between November and April.
- The hot season from March to May is very dry and certain river trips are not possible.

Clothing During the hot season, January to April, bring light clothes in cotton and linen, sunglasses and a hat all year long. Sunscreen and bug repellant is also recommended. From November to December, the cold season, it is a good idea to bring warm clothing such as sweaters and jackets for the morning and evening, and even more so if you are visiting the mountainous regions of the North. From May to October, during the rainy season, it is best to have waterproof clothing. It is best to wear easily removable shoes or sandals when visiting the temples.

 Religion 
Buddhism first appeared in Laos during the eighth century A.D., as shown by both the Buddha image and the stone inscription found at Ban Talat near Vientiane, now exhibited at Hor Pra keo Museum. After the foundation of the unified Kingdom of Lane Xang, King Fa Ngum (14th Century) declared Buddhism as the state religion and urged the people to abandon Animism or other beliefs such as the Cult of Spirits. His policy meant to develop the Lao culture based on a common faith: Theravada Buddhism.

 
Today, Theravada Buddhism is the professed religion of about 90% of Lao people. Buddhism is an inherent feature of daily life and casts a strong influence on Lao society. Lao woman can be seen each morning giving alms to monks, earning merit to lessen the number of their rebirths. It is expected that every Lao man will become a monk for at least a short time in his life.
 
Traditionally, men spent three months during the rainy season in a Wat (Buddhist temple). Today, however; most men curtail their stay to one or two weeks.

Lao religious images and art is also distinctive and sets Laos apart from its neighbors. The “Calling for Rain” posture of Buddha images in Laos, for example, which depicts the Buddha standing with his hands held rigidly at his side, fingers pointing to the ground, can not be found in other Southeast Asian Buddhist art traditions. Religious influences are also pervasive in classical Lao literature, especially in the Pha Lak, Pha Lam, the Lao version of India’s epic Ramayana.


Projects are underway to preserve classic Lao religious scripts, which were transcribed onto palm leaf manuscripts hundreds of years ago and stored in Wats.
 
Vaccination
All travelers should visit either their personal physician or travel health clinic 4-8weeks beforedeparture.
 
Malaria: A Prophylaxis is recommended for all areas except the city of Vientiane. Either Lariam (mefloquine), Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil), or doxycyline may be given, except for the provinces of  Louang Namtha along the Laos-Burma border and the provinces of Saravane and Champassack along the Laos-Thailand border, where mefloquine should not be used due to the risk of mefloquine-resistant malaria.

 

Vaccinations:

 

Hepatitis A
Recommended for all travelers
Typhoid
For travelers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels
Yellow fever
Required for all travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas. Not recommended otherwise.
Japanese encephalitis

For travelers who may spend a month or more in rural areas and for short-term travelers who may spend substantial time outdoors in rural areas, especially after dusk

Hepatitis B
Recommended for all travelers
Rabies

For travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, or at high risk for animal bites, or involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)
Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1956, if not previously given
Tetanus-diphtheria
Revaccination recommended every 10 years