Travellers come to Laos to experience the rolling mountains, remote villages, tribal crafts and the magic of the Mekong.
They leave with so much more: irreplaceable memories of smiling locals, saffron-robed monks receiving alms and markets awash with fresh produce. For those searching for authentic Asia, Laos doesn’t disappoint.
Top Laos travel deals
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|Laos Traveller - Bangkok to Vientiane||14||
|Thailand & Laos Adventure||13||
Our Laos trips
5 Days From $775
13 Days From $2,015
14 Days From $1,084
13 Days From $1,310
30 Days From $3,695
35 Days From $3,110
22 Days From $2,880
15 Days From $2,455
Laos tour reviews
Our Laos trips score an average of 4.69 out of 5 based on 157 reviews in the last year.
Thailand & Laos Adventure, December 2016
The Thailand and Laos Adventure with Intrepid is the best itinerary I've done with Intrepid to date! The combination of included and optional activities was perfectly balanced, and having local leaders join in the trip gave a hands on experience and great local insight. The landscapes constantly changed, and the two days cruising down the Mekong was unexpectedly wonderful and a trip highlight. Definitely ask your Trip Leader to reserve Tamarind Cooking School in Luang Prabang. 100% recommend this incredible tour.
Review submitted 23 Jan 2017
Thailand & Laos Adventure, December 2016
Recently returned from fantastic trip round Indochina - one of the best holidays I have ever had for three main reasons; firstly the countries themselves - amazing - places, people and food. I will never forget some of the things we saw and did - including sunrise over Angkor Watt, a motorbike tour of local temples, going round Night Markets and dancing at a New Year Street Party or swimming in the natural waterfalls of Kuang Si in Laos. My first time in Asia and won't be my last. Secondly - the amazing organisation and support provided by Intrepid and their local tour guides, all of which allows you to relax and enjoy the experience rather than stressing over stuff like transport, tipping, local customs and how not to upset people, where to go and how to get tickets etc. All great and handled with humour and care. Thirdly - and this made the holiday for me - the core group of fellow travellers who I met on day 1 and who with one exception, went through the entire 4 week trip together. Others joined and left and all were good fun - but that first core group happened to get on well and I know I have made friends that will continue beyond this trip. This was one of my major concerns about small group travel - being a new middle aged singleton - but I needn't have worried and now feel confident to book any other small group tour in the future on my own.... Highly recommend Intrepid, small group tours in general an the Indochina Loop in particular. Magic. I'll be back!
Review submitted 23 Jan 2017
Articles on Laos
Laos travel highlights
Appreciate the limestone karst landscapes of Vang Vieng
Luang Nam Tha
Experience the ethnic diversity of laid-back Luang Nam Tha
Pak Ou Caves
Admire the images of Buddha that adorn the Pak Ou Caves
Transport in Laos
Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.
Depending on which trip you're on while in Laos, you may find yourself travelling by:
Cruising down the Mekong is an iconic travel experience that just must be done in one’s lifetime.
Accommodation in Laos
Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.
When travelling with us in Laos you may find yourself staying in a:
Laos holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Laos
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Outdoors Experiences in Laos
Festivals and Events in Laos
Health and Safety
Laos travel FAQs
Australia:Yes - on arrival
Belgium: Yes - on arrival
Canada: Yes - on arrival
Germany Yes - on arrival
Ireland: Yes - on arrival
Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
South Africa: Yes - on arrival
Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
USA: Yes - on arrival
We ask all our travellers to obtain their Laos visas at the border, and NOT in their home country. Your tour leader will assist you in obtaining a Laos visa, generally at the border, depending on the current state of affairs, as it can vary.
Please ensure that you have at least 1 passport photos and up to US$60 cash (this may vary too) to fulfil the requirements. There will also be an Immigration Fee of USD1. To assist us in processing your Laos visas, please provide your agent with accurate passport details prior to the departure of your trip as these details will be passed on to our leader.
When crossing the border you will most likely see a lesser entry fee than what you have paid. This is due to the leader having to use a local agent to process the visa which allows the group to cross the border as quickly as possible.
Tipping isn't mandatory or customary in Laos, but a tip of spare change or another small amount would be appreciated by restaurants, drivers and other service workers, especially if the service has been particularly good.
Internet access is available in tourist areas like Vang Vieng and Vientiane, but is far less likely to be found in rural and remote areas.
You'll be able to use your mobile phone in most urban areas of Laos, although rural and remote areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Laos.
You'll have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation whilst in Laos. The standard toilet is of the squat variety and this may take some getting used to, although western-style toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas.
Market snack = 7,000 LAK
Large bottle of beer = 9,000 LAK
Budget restaurant meal = 23,000 LAK
High-end restaurant meal = 55,000 LAK
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Laos. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Major credit cards are generally accepted by large shops, hotels and restaurants in the city and tourist areas. However, they may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as small family restaurants, market stalls or in remote towns and rural areas. Make sure you carry enough cash for purchases, since credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Laos.
ATMs can be found in the cities of Laos, so withdrawing cash shouldn't be problematic. Smaller villages and rural areas may not have ATM access, so prepare for this before venturing too far from a city or major town.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 2 Jan New Year's Day Holiday
- 8 Mar International Women's Day
- 14 Apr Lao New Year (Pi Mai)
- 15 Apr Lao New Year (Pi Mai)
- 16 Apr Lao New Year (Pi Mai)
- 1 May Labour Day
- 1 Jun Children's Day
- 8 Jul Khao Pansa (Buddhist Fast Begins)
- 5 Oct Bouk Ok Pansa (Buddhist Fast Ends)
- 6 Oct Boat Racing Festival at Mekhong (Vientiane)
- 7 Oct Day of Liberation
- 14 Nov That Luang Festival
- 1 Dec Lao National Day Holiday
- 2 Dec Lao National Day
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Laos go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/laos/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Laos
1. Be considerate of Laos’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.
The Intrepid Foundation
The Intrepid Foundation provides travellers with an opportunity to give something back to the many wonderful communities we travel to. By donating to The Intrepid Foundation you can make a difference in local communities - in health care, education, human rights, child welfare and the protection of wildlife and the environment.
In Laos, The Intrepid Foundation proudly supports:
COPE (Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise)
This worthy organisation provides essential services to people with disabilities. Laos has many victims of landmines living with life-changing disabilities acquired from stepping on unexploded ordinance (UXO). Providing rehabilitation, orthotics and prosthetics, the visitor centre also educates and enlightens visitors on the impact of UXO on the people of Laos.
Image supplied by Jo Pererira.
Peuan Mit Street Children Project
This vital project assists underprivileged children and young people to return to school, find employment and cultivate a better future with counselling, workshop sessions, education and emergency accommodation.
Image supplied by Peuan Mit.
This organisation was created to reduce the number of casualties caused by unexploded ordinance (UXO) that still lies on much of Laos’ land. By raising community awareness, training locals, surveying and clearing land, this group is working towards savings lives and building a safer future for the people of Laos.
Image supplied by UXO Lao.
To learn more or donate, go to: www.theintrepidfoundation.org