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Laos Travel Tips

The following latest travel tips are important to foreigners to travel around Laos. To ensure having a great time in Laos, kindly read them carefully. And if you have any other question about your trip, you can mail us at service@indochinatourguide.com 
Weather and Climate
Laos has a tropical climate with two distinct monsoon seasons. The wet southwest monsoon season runs from May to October while the northeast monsoon in the months of November to April brings drier weather. Though most of the country has warm temperatures year-round, it can get down to freezing conditions in the mountainous areas.
The best time, and also the peak season to visit Laos is from October to February with the coolest, driest days as well as some of the country's most colourful festivals to enjoy.
Laos Visa
Passports should be valid for six months after the planned date of departure from the country.  Tourist visas valid for 30 days can easily be obtained on arrival. Cost depends on nationality (approximately US $30 - $42). One passport-sized photo is also required.
Laos Currency
The Lao currency is the kip, which is non-convertible (outside Laos), unstable and generally inflationary. Except that the Lao Kip., US Dollars and Thai Baht are widely accepted in the main cities, other currencies cannot be used directly. On generally, bank’s exchange rate is lower than normal exchange plots, while business time of the latter is longer than the former. The rate of travel cheque is more favorable than that of cash, but it is hard to exchange outside of Vientaine and Luang Prabang. Foreign currencies can easily be changed at hotels, airports, markets and banks. 
Approximate exchange rates as of March 2011 are €1 = 10,000 kip, £1 = 12,000 kip, 1 baht = 260 kip & US$1= 8,000 kip. Make sure that you get rid of all your kip before you leave the country (unless keeping a handful as a souvenir, and kip can be exchanged into foreign currencies at Vientiane airport.

Though in recent years, travelling to Laos is very safe, accidents and illnesses cannot be avoided sometimes. You are strongly advised to buy comprehensive travel insurance and international travel medical insurance before you travel.
Electrical Plug
Laos uses 220V. Power outlets usually feature two-pin round or flat sockets. However, there is no national standard. A universal plug adaptor is recommended.
What to pack
1. Medicine: You should bring extra medicines from home, like Aspirin, Cold-symptom relief tablets, antihistamine, cough drops, Ace bandage and so on in a small first aid kit.
2. Bring enough memory cards and batteries for photography fans.
3. Cash and important travel documents.
4. Toilet items should also be carried in sufficient quantity for the entire visit, and also the nets or fan to avoid mosquitoes.