LAOS

Laos, officially The Peoples’ Democratic Republic of Laos, is a Southeast Asian country traversed by the Mekong River and known for mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements and Buddhist monasteries; bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west.

Laos is a country as yet untouched by the modern demands.Its beauty lies in the diversity of the Lao people, century-old traditions and cultures, its lush, pristine landscape. Lao has a rich cultural heritage with religious art and architecture forming the cornerstone of artistic traditions. [more]

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.
Laotian is the official language of Laos. Spoken Lao is mutually intelligible with the Thai language; the two languages are written with slightly different scripts, but linguistically similar. Lao, like many languages in Laos, is written in the Lao script.
1 JANUARY, 2016 - International New Year
8 MARCH - International Women's Day
13-15 APRIL - Lao New Year Holidays
1 MAY - International Labour Day
17 OCTOBER - Boat Racing Festival, celebrates the end of Buddhist Lent
14 NOVEMBER - That Luang Festival - Full Moon Day
2 DECEMBER, 2016 - Lao National Day

All visitors entering Laos must possess valid passports. Visas can be obtained from Lao Embassies and Consulates abroad. Visas can also be obtained on arrival at the international checkpointYour 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.

A visa on arrival costs approximately US$35, depending on your nationality. If you obtain a visa in advance, it costs around US$50 but again this varies according to nationality.

• 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. Sunscreen and bug repellent 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.

Time in Laos is GMT+7