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An update from Evaneos

Formalities for travelling to Laos

Laos  is not one of Asia's top tourist destinations. To visit this amazing country, you'll still have to meet certain criteria, whether you do the paperwork in advance or on arrival.

Before you leave

To take a trip to Laos, all tourists must have a current passport that is valid for six months after their return date. This applies to everyone. British passport holders need a visa, but the finer details frequently change! You can apply for a visa at the Laos Embassy or one of their consulates. You'll need to present your passport and do some form-filling. A visa costs around £23. Visas can be used within a 3 month period and give you the right to stay in Laos for 30 days. It takes a good week or so to get a visa for Laos , although for a higher fee you can get one in 3 days. Bear in mind UK citizens also have to produce a return ticket! Occasionally you may have to prove that you have sufficient funds.

There are no required vaccinations for entry into Laos. However, it's wise to get vaccinated against Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

If you're planning to rent a car or drive in Laos, make sure you get an International Drivers Permit from your local Post Office.

On arrival

On arrival

Whether you arrive by air or land, you can always apply for a visa once you're there. It's a practical solution and cheaper than applying for one at the Embassy in the UK. It costs under £20 but be warned that you'll need to pay in US Dollars! There are no further costs if you obtain your visa on arrival. So stick to your guns if any Laos customs officials ask for additional cash. The frequently requested 1$ fee to get your passport stamped is actually illegal! Once your 30 days are over, if you want to stay on, it will cost 2$ (around £1.50) for each extra day. Another option is to leave the country and then immediately return.

David Debrincat
459 contributions
Updated 25 August 2015
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