Visa & Passports
As long as you have a valid UK passport, you can get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Laos for around US$35. Just ensure that you have two passport photos with you and that your passport is valid for six months after your intended departure date from Laos. Visa conditions change regularly, so to keep on top of it, you should contact the nearest Laos Embassy located in Paris.
As an alternative, we’ve teamed up with The Visa Machine – a professional visa service who can guide you though the process.
The national currency in Laos is the Laotian Kip. As there are no Kip coins, you’ll receive currency in bills. Be sure to keep some US dollars aside for departure taxes when leaving Laos. You won’t be able to exchange any Kip after you’ve left the country, so try to spend whatever Kip you have left whilst travelling in Laos.
Credit and Debit Cards
You’ll find ATM machines in each of the main cities in Laos, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll all be working. That’s why we suggest taking enough cash in US dollars or Thai baht with you to exchange at a Laotian bank or exchange booth. Aside from the Kip, the US dollar is also commonly used as currency. Credit cards are usually only accepted in luxury hotels and restaurants. Several banks in Vientiane will give you a cash advance on your credit or visa debit card.
Tips and Haggling
Tipping at small restaurants is not common in Laos, however it is very much appreciated. 5-10% is common and local guides and drivers also appreciate a small tip, although this is of course entirely up to you.