Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens exercise increased caution to Laos due to civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 6 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 2 blank pages in their passport for any entry stamp and or visa that will be required. A visa is required. US citizens will need to get in touch with the country’s embassy or nearest consulate to obtain a visa prior to visiting the country.

US Embassy/Consulate

[856] 21-48-7000; US Embassy Vientiane, Ban Somvang Thai, Thadeua Road, Km 9, Hatsayfong District, Laos;;

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.

Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

191 Police, 195 Ambulance


The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Laos: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, COVID-19, and influenza.


Tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

Currency (Code)

Kips (LAK)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

230 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): A, B, C, E, F

Plug Type APlug Type BPlug Type CPlug Type EPlug Type F

Major Languages

Lao, French, English, various ethnic languages

Major Religions

Buddhist 64.7%, Christian 1.7%

Time Difference

UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Elephant Village Sanctuary; Four Thousand Islands (includes Khone Pha Pheng Waterfall); Kong Lor Caves; Wat Phu;; Vientiane; Luang Prabang (former royal city); Plain of Jars

Major Sports

Soccer, sepak takraw (kick volleyball), muay lao (martial art)

Cultural Practices

Lao culture is centered on the pleasures of life: eating, drinking, sleeping and chatting with friends. Work obligations rarely take priority over socialization. It's common to be asked if meals, weekend activities, weddings and whatever you're doing right now is “muan,” or enjoyable.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is not customary except in tourist-oriented restaurants where 10% of the bill is appreciated, but only if a service charge has not already been added. Tour guides and day-long drivers expect $10-15 (USD) per day for a gratuity. Tip hotel staff $2-3 (USD) per day for their service .


Hand-woven silk or cotton sarongs, gold and gemstone jewelry, wood carvings, spices, Hill Tribe bags

Traditional Cuisine

Larb (or Laap) — minced meat, seasoned with lime juice, fermented fish sauce, and a variety of other ingredients such as finely ground roasted sticky rice, chilli, mint leaves, onions, herbs, and spices

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Thursday, September 28, 2023