Laos Overview


Official name of the state

Laos People’s Democratic Republic.




As a country located in Asia according to topb2bwebsites, Laos has no access to the sea and borders on China to the north, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand and Myanmar to the west. Apart from the river plain on the Mekong along the border with Thailand, the country is mountainous, especially in the north, and partly densely forested.


People’s Republic since 1975. Constitution of 1991. National Assembly, one chamber with 109 members, legislative period 5 years. Former French colony, independent since 1949.

Head of state

Boungnang Vorachith, since April 2016.

Head of government

Thongloun Sisoulith, since April 2016.


230 V, 50 Hz. Occasional blackouts.

Time zone

Indochina Time: CET +8



1 New Kip = 100 Att (no meaning in practice). Currency abbreviation: K, LAK (ISO code). There are banknotes with a value of 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 K. The banknotes from 1 to 100 K are practically no longer in circulation. The US $ and the Thai baht are used equally as means of payment.
They are accepted in shops, markets, and hotels across the country.

Credit cards

International credit cards, especially Visa and MasterCard, are used in Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet and Vientiane e.g. Sometimes accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops.


ec / Maestro card / Sparcard

Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

In the larger cities there are ATMs where (for a high fee) cash (kip, baht and US $) can be withdrawn with credit or debit cards. The maximum amount for increases is a maximum of 2,000,000 kip. Depending on the bank, several withdrawals are possible daily.

Bank opening times

General Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

The import and export of the local currency is prohibited. Unrestricted import and export of foreign currencies, obligation to declare from the equivalent of US $ 2,000 (also in travelers’ checks). Violations can result in high penalties.

Currency Exchange

Thai baht, US $ bills (except $ 100) and euros are the easiest to exchange in banks. Exchange receipts must be retained.



Lao is the official language, there are also numerous tribal languages. French, Chinese, English and Vietnamese are also spoken.



[*] Deviations are possible.



The following articles can be imported into Laos duty-free from non-bordering countries (from 16 years):

200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco;
1 l of spirits;
2 l of wine;

250 ml eau de toilette and 50 g perfume.
up to 500 g of jewelry for personal use.

Prohibited exports

Buddha statues. The export of antiques is only possible with the permission of the Department of Heritage in Vientiane.


Business etiquette

Punctuality is appreciated. For business appointments you wear a light suit, shirt and tie. In addition to English, knowledge of French is very useful. Business trips are best done in the dry season (November to April).
Business hours:
Mo-Fr 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.-5.30 p.m., Sa 8 a.m.-12 p.m.


Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chamber of Commerce)
BP 4596, Sihom Road, Vientiane
Tel: (21) 21 92 23

Ministry of Finance
Luang Prabang Road, Ban Phonxang, Vientiane
Tel: (21) 41 24 01.

Business contacts

Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chamber of Commerce)
BP 4596, Sihom Road, Vientiane
Tel: (21) 21 92 23

Ministry of Finance
Luang Prabang Road, Ban Phonxang, Vientiane
Tel: (21) 41 24 01.



Limited remote dial-up service.


GSM 900 and 1800. Network operators are Lao Telecommunications (GSM 900; Internet:, Millicom Lao Co Ltd., ETL Mobile, LAT Mobile and Lao Asia Telecommunication State Enterprise (LAT Mobile) (GSM 900/1800). The transmission / reception area covers the largest cities. Cell phones can be rented from Lao Phonetech (Internet:


Internet provider is Lao Telecommunications. There are internet cafes in Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

Post Office

The main post office is in Vientiane next to the morning market. Postal services are cheap and reliable. However, urgent or valuable mail should be sent with an international courier.


Since the use of shortwave frequencies changes several times over the course of a year, it is advisable to contact Deutsche Welle customer service directly (Tel: (+49) (0228) 429 32 08. Internet: to request.



The markets in Vientiane and Luang Prabang (approx. 40 minutes by plane from Vientiane) are worth a visit. Silk, ethnic silver jewelry, pieces of furniture with inlays and wicker baskets are nice souvenirs. Although most stores have fixed prices, antiques and art objects are worth bargaining for. Shop opening times: Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (private shops).



In Vientiane there are discos in the larger hotels that are open on weekends and often offer live Laotian music.




There are good hotels and guest houses in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng. The standard outside the cities is not very high. Hostels in small towns are poorly furnished.


There are no campsites.



60% Buddhism (Hinayana / Theravada), 40% followers of natural religions and others (including Christian and Muslim minorities, Confucianism and Taoism).

Social rules of conduct

The Laotians are reserved but friendly. Religious customs should be respected. It is best to avoid all political and contiguous topics during conversations. The photographing military installations is prohibited. When photographing people and religious institutions or monks, caution is generally advisable. Tipping is now accepted in hotels and restaurants as well as from tourist guides.


Best travel time

Most of the country has a hot tropical climate. It’s cooler in the highlands. The rainy season from May to November is the hottest and the dry season is from December to April.


Area code +856 Area (sq km) 236 800 Population 6911 544 Population density (per sq km) 29 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 195

Laos Overview

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