Travel to Laos

Laos Entry and exit regulations

Formalities, visas

Tourists are only allowed to enter the country if they have a return ticket and sufficient financial resources to finance their stay themselves.

A visa for the duration of 15 days must be applied for upon entry. A valid passport and a passport photo are required for this.

The tourist visa is valid for tourists and travel groups who are max. will not stay in Laos for more than 15 days and have received it from the Lao authorities without proof of travel confirmation.

The validity of the tourist visa after the date of issue is three months and allows a stay of 15 days – from the first day of entry to the 15th day – and it cannot be extended. The processing fee is 40.00 EURO/person.

A visa that entitles you to stay for 30 days must be applied for in advance at the responsible embassy in Laos.


Visa department of the Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos

Bismarckallee 2 a

14193 Berlin

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 89 06 06 47

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 89 06 06 48

Import and export of foreign currency

  • Local currencyMay be imported and exported in any amount.
  • Foreign currenciesMay be imported and exported in any amount.

Departure fee

In many countries, a fee must be paid when leaving the country. This fee is US $ 10 when leaving Laos.

Import and export of goods

The import and export of weapons, ammunition or explosives is strictly prohibited. In addition, the import and export of plants and animals protected under the Washington Species Protection Act is prohibited. Violation can result in severe penalties.

It is allowed to bring 500 cigarettes and 1l of alcohol.

The import of pornographic publications is prohibited.

Antiques and Buddha images are not allowed!

Tourist office

Lao National Tourism Administration

Tourism Marketing and Promotion Department

POBox: 3556 Lane Xang Avenue

Hatsady Village, Chanthabouly District


Tel: 00856 – (0) 21 – 21 22 48

Tel: 00856 – (0) 21 – 21 22 51

Fax: 00856 – (0) 21 – 21 27 69

Fax: 00856 – (0) 21 – 21 79 10

Laos: Travel Medicine, Vaccinations and Warnings

Infectious Diseases

In Laos, the following infectious diseases are to be expected in Germany and Central and Northern Europe:

  • Malaria: With the exception of Vientiane, there is a high risk of malaria in the country all year round. About 95% of the infections occur with the very dangerous malaria tropica, the rest with malaria tertiana
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Cholera – but there is only a risk of infection for travelers who come into contact with polluted water or contaminated food.
  • Dengue fever disease
  • Intestinal infections from contaminated food or water, including amoeba, lamblia, salmonella, shigella, worm infestation and all kinds of viruses and bacteria
  • Filariasis
  • Typhus
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Polio, polio
  • tetanus
  • rabies
  • typhus
  • Bird flu

Recommended vaccinations

when traveling to Laos are recommended vaccinations against the following diseases:

  • Diphtheria – a vaccination against diphtheria should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Hepatitis A and B – vaccination against hepatitis B is only necessary for people who may come into contact with blood or for those who are looking for sexual contact.
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Polio, polio, vaccination against polio should always exist, also in the home country.
  • Tetanus – a vaccination against tetanus should always exist, also in the home country.

Compulsory vaccination

For all persons older than one year and coming from a yellow fever infection area designated by the WHO, there is a compulsory vaccination against an illness with yellow fever.

Who pays for vaccinations in Germany?

Most children in Germany are vaccinated against a number of infectious diseases at an early age. However, the vaccination protection only lasts up to 10 years, in some cases even shorter. Therefore, before traveling abroad, you should carefully consider against which infectious diseases a vaccination is necessary or useful in the country concerned and whether the vaccination protection, if applicable, was not too long ago.

Most statutory health insurances have been reimbursing the costs for the following vaccinations since June 2007.

There is even no 10 € practice fee – but the insured usually have to pay the statutory co-payment, which is 10% of the vaccine price – that is at least 5 € and a maximum of 10 €. Under these conditions, the following vaccinations are free of charge:

  • cholera
  • diphtheria
  • Early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE)
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Pneumococci
  • Polyo (polio)
  • Tetanus (tetanus)
  • rabies
  • typhus

Some health insurance companies also reimburse the cost of malaria prophylaxis.

As a rule, private health insurance companies (inquire beforehand) also cover the costs mentioned.

Warning notices

Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany

Citizens’ Service

Phone: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 2000

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 5000 – 51000


How to get to Laos


overland you can enter to Laos at the following border crossings:

From Thailand

  • Nongkhai/Vientiane
  • Mukdahane/Savannakhet
  • Chiangkhong/Houeyxay
  • Ubon Rachathani/Pakse
  • Nakhorn/Savannakhet

From Vietnam

  • Quangtri/Savannakhet
  • Vinh/Laksao

Border crossings in Na Maew and Nam Xoi have been open since the beginning of 2004.

From China

  • Jonghong Mengla/Luang Namtha

By plane

From Germany, Austria and Switzerland

There are no non-stop flights to Laos from these three countries.

The best and fastest connection is via Bangkok, whose airport is served by numerous airlines from Europe. The best way to get to Laos from Germany is from Frankfurt/M, in Switzerland from Zurich and in Austria from Vienna, both via Bangkok. Eva-Air also flies to Laos via Taipei.

From Thailand

From Bangkok you can enter with the following airlines: Lao Aviation and Thai Airways.

From Chiangmai, a city in northern Thailand, with Lao Aviation.

From Vietnam

Hanoi: with Lao Aviation and Vietnam Airlines.

Hochiminh City: with Lao Aviation.

From China

Khunming: with Lao Aviation and Yunnan Airlines.

From Malysia

Kuala Lumpur: with Silk Air.

From Cambodia

Phnom Penh: with Lao Aviation and Silk Air.

From Myanmar

Rangoon: with Lao Aviation.

From Singapore

Singapore: with Silk Air.

Travel in the country

Air connections

Lao Aviation flies to the following provincial capitals from Vientiane: Luang Prabang (daily), Savannakhet (daily), Luang Namtha (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Xieng Khouang (daily), Pakse (daily), Oudomxai (Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun), Xayyabuli (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Houixay (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Thakhek (Fri) and Saravane (via Savannakhet, only Sun).


The cities are connected to one another either by buses or by pick-ups. Due to the bad roads, however, traveling is relatively difficult.


Laos has a road network of approximately 13,000 km. Of these, however, only about 1,600 km are tarred.

The rest of the roads are gravel roads.


cars Cars are usually only rented with a driver. There are also very few car rental companies in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.


Motorbikes can be rented in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.


Bicycles can be rented in many inns and hotels. They are an ideal means of transport in a country with little car traffic.

Ferry connections

By boat

With the boat you can travel across the Mekong from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai. If you take a speed boat, both routes take about 9 hours. With a normal boat you need 2 days! When using the speed boat, however, please note the warnings from the German Foreign Office (link under “Risks”).

Notes on road traffic

Right-hand traffic prevails in Laos.

Many roads are in poor to miserable condition. In addition, road traffic harbors particular risks due to the behavior of road users. Drivers who are drunk are a high traffic risk, especially in the evenings and on public holidays. The accident rate (including death) is high, and users of motorized two-wheelers are strongly advised to wear a protective helmet. If a foreigner is involved in an accident, regardless of the question of guilt, he is usually asked to pay for the (entire) damage and, if necessary, compensation for pain and suffering. It is therefore best not to drive a motor vehicle yourself.

Driving license

If you still want to use a motor vehicle, an international driving license is required, which must be applied for in your home country before you start your journey.

Top speeds

  • Urban: in built-up areas there is a speed limit of 50 km/h
  • Outside built-up areas: outside built-up areas there is a speed limit of 90 km/h

International license plate

According to Abbreviationfinder, the international license plate of Laos is:


Currency, shopping

The national currency of Laos is the Kip = 100 At.

The following banknotes are valid in the country:

  • 100,000
  • 50,000
  • 20,000
  • 10,000
  • 5,000
  • 2,000
  • 1,000
  • 500
  • 100
  • 50
  • 20th
  • 10
  • 1 kip


However, the 100 Kip notes and smaller are practically no longer in circulation.

But you can also pay well with the Thai baht and the US dollar – here and there also with the euro.

Conversion rate

You can find a currency converter here:

Bank opening hours, ATMs

  • Monday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: closed
  • Sunday: closed


in Vientiane as well as in the larger cities such as Luang Prabang have numerous ATMs where you can easily withdraw money with a check or credit card. However, this option is not available in smaller towns.


Shop opening times

  • Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: closed

Some shops stay open a little longer and don’t close over lunchtime.

Cheap or country-specific goods, souvenirs,

antiques and Buddha images may not be exported! You should take this into account when going shopping.


Carvings made of wood, stone and bone, such as opium pipes, are popular souvenirs.


Fabrics made of silk and cotton.

Gold and silver jewelry

The best craftsmanship can be found in the mountains.

Laos: embassies, consulates

Visit Countryaah for a full list of Laos embassies and consulates in each country around the world.

Representations of Laos in Germany

The embassy building of the “Democratic People’s Republic of Laos” is located in Bismarckalle, near Lake Halensee and the A 100 city motorway – in the Berlin-Grunewald district in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district.

The single-storey building is rather unadorned and, not least because of its few and very small windows, even looks a bit forbidding.

Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos in Berlin

Bismarckallee 2a

14193 Berlin

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 89 06 06 47

Fax: 0049 – (0) 30 – 89 06 06 48

German representations in Laos

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Vientiane

Rue Sokpalouang 26 (Sisattanek)


Tel: 00856 – (0) 21 – 31 21 10

00856 – (0) 21 – 31 21 11

Fax: 00856 – (0) 21 – 31 21 10

00856 – (0) 21 – 31 21 11


Austrian representations in Laos


The embassy in Thailand is responsible

Representations of Laos in Austria

Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos in Vienna

Neulinggasse 29 Top6

1030 Vienna

Swiss representations in Laos


The embassy in Thailand is responsible

Swiss Consulate in Vientiane

Diethelm Travel Laos Building, 2nd Floor

Setthathirath Road, Namphu Square


Tel: 00856 – (0) 21 – 264 160

Fax: 00856 – (0) 21 – 264 161


Representations of Laos in Switzerland

Embassy of the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos

Route de Colovrex 14bis

1218 Le Grand-Saconnex

Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 798 24 41/-42

Fax: 0041 – (0) 22 – 798 24 40


Consulate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos

Bahnhofstrasse 52

6430 Schwyz

Tel: 0041 – (0) 41 – 810 16 59

Fax: 0041 – (0) 41 – 810 16 59



Travel to Laos