LAOS TRAVEL GUIDE
Officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), is one of the most peaceful and least explored nations in Southeast Asia. A mountainous and landlocked country, Laos shares borders with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China to the north.
Visitors who are drawn by the laid-back lifestyle and the opportunity to watch the sunsets on the Mekong will simply explain the attraction by revealing that the true meaning of "Lao PDR" is Lao - Please Don't Rush.
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LAOS QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Vientiane
- Currency: Kip (LAK)
- Area: 236,800 km²
- Population: 7,062 million (2018)
- Language: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages
- Religion: Buddhist 98%, other (chiefly animist and Christian) 2%
- Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (European & US plugs)
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LAOS PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 6 January, Pathet Lao Day
- 20 January, Day of the Army
- 8 March, Women’s Day
- 22 March, People’s Party Day
- 13–15 April, Lao New Year (Pi Mai)
- 1 May, Labour Day
- 1 June, Children’s Day
- 13 August, Day of the Free Laos
LAOS WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Laos climate can be divided in two distinct seasons: a dry season from mid-October to April and a rainy season dominated by the south-west monsoon which brings high rainfall, high humidity, and high temperature between May and mid-October. Temperatures during the March-May period can reach high into the 30°C, while at higher elevations and during the dry season's cooler months of December and January, temperatures can drop to 15°C and below. The average annual rainfall ranges between 1,300-3,000 mm. The majority of the population lives in the lowland areas, including around the Mekong River Basin. The El Nino Southern Oscillation, in addition to the tropical monsoon, plays a major role in driving the climatic processes in Laos.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
HIKING & CYCLING IN LAOS
The best time for outdoor activities in Laos is during the dry season, from November to April. The rainy season is from May to October and it can be difficult to move around the country during this time.
HEALTH RISKS IN LAOS
Be aware of possible health risks in
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.