How To Find Out Everything There Is To Know About Laos Tourism In Eight Simple Steps

To achieve the goal of 3.74 million visitors in 2015, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism has outlined seven priority programmes.

Lao Airlines now flies to more countries in the region to facilitate travel by tourists. The country is now becoming more closely connected with the rest of the region as new roads and bridges are built across the Mekong River. Tourism officials have said the sector employs at least 20,000 people and helps to generate income in poorer communities.

The number of tourist arrivals has increased continuously since the government launched the Visit Laos Year\” campaign in 1999-2000, despite the recent global economic downturn. Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Chaleune Warinthrasak, told Vientiane Times the tourism industry has played an increasing role in the development of Laos and in reducing poverty. From the fertile lowlands of the Mekong River valley to the rugged Annamite highlands, travelers who once enjoyed Laos tourism tend to agree that this country is the most highlight of SouthEast Asia.

After two decades of isolation from the outside world, this landlocked, sparsely populated country is enjoying peace, stabilizing its political and economic structures and admitting foreign visitors - albeit in limited numbers due to a general lack of infrastructure. Laos tourism are now popular travel trend for tourists in all over the world. Also, some people, and especially tuk tuk drivers, consider USD1 as being equivalent to 10,000 kip, whereas the official exchange rate is better.

Laos tourist Information is more expensive than Thailand and Cambodia, as most goods, petrol & food is imported from Thailand and Vietnam. Unlike in Thailand access to temples in Luang Prabang is not free, with an entrance fee typically being 10,000 kip. If pricing based on your origin sounds unfair to you, than you’re probably best to avoid temples.

Wat Sisaket charges Lao/Isaan speakers 2000 Kip, and foreigners are expected to pay 5000 kip. If you can’t speak Laotian like a native you’ll be charged a higher price. You’ll find that most temples are setup to capitalize on foreigners as cash cows, and will charge you a higher price for being a foreigner.

Expats living in Vientiane routinely get cash from ATMs in Nong Khai or Udon Thani (Thailand), where the maximum per transaction is mostly 20,000 baht, or ten times what you’ll get in Laos. However, as for example euros get pretty bad rates compared to US dollars when exchanged in Laos, getting a cash advance in US$ and changing it to kips might actually save money compared to bringing euros with you to Laos. This usually occurs by withdrawing the money in US$ from the card as a cash advance; the card issuer will usually charge a fee (about 3%), the Lao bank involved will charge about 3%, and then the agent providing the cash advance might (or might not) charge another 3%, and then the amount is converted from US$ to kip at a poor rate to the US dollars, costing another 5% or so - hence, overall, these transactions are much more expensive than the typical charge for withdrawing cash from ATMs in other countries.