As the state of Laos, it became known as early as the beginning of the 14th century, but in those days, the country was called Lan Sang Hom Khao, which means “Country of a Million Elephants and a White Umbrella”. Ten years ago, the Democratic Republic of Laos was known to a small number of tourists, but a few years ago this state became more accessible to receive foreign tourists. In addition, a significant reduction in the price of a visa was noticed, and entry restrictions were lifted. After that, Laos became a famous holiday destination. Tourists visiting Laos can not only have a good rest, but also get acquainted with the rich and unusual culture for many, which is very well preserved here.
Geography of Laos
According to itypemba, Laos does not have its own access to the sea and is located in the southeastern part of Asia. The capital is Vientiane. From the west, Laos has a common border with Thailand, the south of the state borders with Cambodia, the east with Vietnam, and to the north with one of the provinces of China. Almost the entire territory of Laos is forested hills and low mountains. The highest point of Laos is Phu Bia, which has a height of 2817 meters. The border of Laos and Thailand is defined by the Mekong River flowing here, and with Vietnam by the Annamite Range.
The area of Laos is 236,800 km² of which 2% of the territory is water.
The population of Laos is 5,924,000 people.
The official currency is the Laotian kip.
The official language is Lao, apart from French and Thai.
You can apply for a visa at the Lao embassy, which is located in Moscow, or upon arrival.
Laos has a subequatorial monsoonal climate. In January, the temperature is kept at +15 +23 ° С, in July +28 +30 ° С. One year can be conditionally divided into three periods: May-October – hot and humid, November-January – cool and dry, hot and dry – February-April. It happens that the temperature reaches + 38 ° C, most often this happens in the Mekong Valley. On the mountain slopes, the temperature is no more than +22 ° C. If you decide to visit the country, then November-February will be the best time, and when visiting mountainous regions, it is better to give preference to the season from November to July.
Financial assistance from more developed countries made it possible to organize a network of roads in Laos, but to this day many of them remain without asphalt. Asphalt roads make up only 1/6 of all roads. The main mode of transport for traveling between provinces is by bus or truck, but it must be clarified that it is simply not possible to get to some provinces using public transport. The buses here are different. It could be an old truck with benches attached to it, or a modern air-conditioned bus. In the city you can travel by taxi, and the fare is set in advance, the approximate cost for 1 km is $ 0.5. Taxis can be ordered not only for one trip, but for the whole day. In the capital of Laos, you can find a taxi at the airport, in the market or at the Friendship Bridge. In total, 10 airports operate in Laos. There is no railway transport in the country, and river transport, which is quite well developed, is considered its alternative. The main artery for transportation is the Mekong and its tributaries.
You can exchange currency in banks that are open from 8.30 to 16.30 with a lunch break. You can make an exchange at a bank with US dollars or Thai baht. Many restaurants, hotels and shops accept Visa and sometimes Master Card payments.
230V/50Hz American and European sockets
Most of the population of Laos are Buddhists. Many indigenous tribes are so-called animists who have their own nature spirit worship systems and rituals. In addition, small groups of Christians, Muslims and Hindus live in Laos.
For tourists, Laos is a safe country. Despite the long years of war, colonization and poverty, the population did not harden. However, you still need to take precautions, as in any country. Do not carry large sums of money and documents with you. Traveling around the country is also safe, and the crime rate, especially violent crime, is extremely low. It is advisable to refuse to visit the territory near the Cambodian border. After the war, places with unexploded mines remained here, and visiting them without guides can be extremely dangerous.
Almost the entire territory of Laos, except for the capital, is a zone with an increased possibility of getting malaria, so before traveling to the humid regions of the country, it is advisable to take measures that will protect you from this disease. It is also recommended to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid. Today, Lao health care is at an extremely low level, and many cities do not have medical facilities at all. Treatment in hospitals is paid for in cash, and for serious illnesses, care is provided in Thailand. In no case do not use tap water, and products bought on the market must be processed.