About Laos

Should I bargain for everything I want to buy in Laos?

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No. If an item has a price tag then you're not expected to bargain. You are not expected to bargain in a grocery store or restaurant either. The main venues for bargaining are the local markets, where the price will probably be a little flexible, although not as much as in neighbouring countries.

Can I drink the tap water in Laos?

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No, not even the locals drink it. Rely on bottled water, which is cheap and available everywhere. If you want to reduce the plastic you use, many places will refill your bottle for even less than it costs to buy a new one, or even for free. In larger cities the tap water is OK to brush your teeth with, but be careful not to swallow.

Should I tip in Laos?

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In most places in Laos, tipping is not expected though as always it is appreciated. If you want to tip, 10% percent is pretty generous.

Are credit cards accepted in Laos?

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Not generally, but most top-range hotels and some large-ticket item shops will accept them. Very few restaurants and bars accept them. Most travel agents prefer cash but can organise credit card payment. Most will take a 3.5% fee on top of the price.

Is Laos a safe place to travel alone to?

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Yes, Laos is one of the safest countries to travel to. Nevertheless and as a global rule, never leave your belongings unattended and always maintain eye contact or a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags.

What are the Laos visa requirements?

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A couple of photos, a valid passport and $30 are the official requirements for a one month single entry tourist visa. This can be extended within the country for about $3 per day, most easily through agents.

What is the climate like in Laos?

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It is wet between May and October and dry between November and April. The cool dry season - occurs from November to January. In the Mekong valley, temperature can drop to around 15 degrees Celsius and the mountain temperature drop to zero degree Celsius or lower at night. Humidity is low at this time of the year and the most visitors consider it the best time to travel to Laos.