Laos Travel Tips & ItineraryPosted on Sep 01 in Laos, Travel Tips and Itineraryby ShelynPrint
I booked the flight to Laos in Nov 2008 during ZERO fare promotion from Air Asia.
2 Guest Flight Fare: MRY Zero
Airport Tax: MYR 120
Administration Fee: MYR 106
Total Amount for 2 Guests: MYR 282
We departed from Kuala Lumpur on 27 Aug, 8:05 a.m. and spent 6 days in Laos, flew back from Vientiane (capital of Laos) on 1 Sep, 10:05 a.m..
There are many attractions in Laos such as Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, Bokeo and Champasak but we chose only Vientiane and Luang Prabang due to the time constraint. 6 days is actually not enough if you want to have a full exploration of Laos.
Luang Prabang is the former capital of Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage city, which means a blessed ban on buses and trucks and tall buildings. It is often described as the ‘Jewel in Laos’ Crown’. That’s the reason we didn’t want to miss the beauty of Luang Prabang during our Laos trip.
To get to Luang Prabang from Vientiane, we can either go by Bus or Plane. However, it requires 10 hours drive from Vientiane to Luang Prabang which we will lose 1 day spending our time in the bus.
So we decided to fly to Luang Prabang, which takes only 45 minutes, but costs more than the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane! Imagine it’s just 45 minutes domestic flight but it costs us USD 296 for 2 pax. That’s why I mentioned in my previous post that the transportation fee in Laos is extremely expensive.
~~ Tips of Domestic Flight in Laos: ~~
1. Book it the earlier the better. We made the reservation very last minute and encountered the problems of desired date and time being fully booked and the booking failed to get through (book the flight at least 4 days in advanced).
2. There are very limited flights of the week to other provinces except to Luang Prabang. So if you plan to visit other provinces, you must properly plan your itinerary.
Laos Airline Online Booking -> http://www.laoairlines.com/
~~ Our Itinerary: ~~
Reach Vientiane, Laos at 1:40 p.m. (Laos local time).
45 minutes drive to Rivertime and Ecolodge Resort.
Rest and Relax in ecolodge, enjoy the day without TV and electronic devices, fully commune with nature.
Move to Vakayorn Inn which is located smack in the middle of Vientiane town.
One day trip in Vientiane.
11:50 a.m. fly to Luang Prabang.
12:30 p.m. arrive at Luang Prabang.
Check in Villa Senesouk.
Visit Kuang Xi waterfall, one of the greatest waterfalls in Luang Prabang.
Visit Tad Xe waterfall and Pak Ou Cave. It’s one hour drive to Pak Ou Cave from town and another one/two hour drive to Tad Xe waterfall.
One day trip in Luang Prabang city.
7:20 p.m. fly back to Vientiane.
10:05 a.m. fly back to Kuala Lumpur.
See… 6 days isn’t really enough for Laos trip, is it?
The official national currency in Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK), but in reality three currencies are used for commerce: kip, Thai baht (B) and US dollars (US$).
In smaller towns and villages, kip is usually preferred. So always bring enough Kip for everyday small purchases, or else you will end up busy converting Kip to Baht or to USD. More expensive goods and services (eg long-distance boat hire or guesthouse stays) may be quoted in baht or dollars, while anything costing US$100 or more (eg tours, hotel stays) is quoted in US dollars.
Remember to bring your own calculator unless your mathematics is extremely excellent that you can easily convert the money from USD to Bath to KIP or vice versa without the help of any tool.
The Lao kip is not convertible to any currency outside of the Lao PDR. Hence, do not exchange too much Lao Kip. If you can’t spend them all, they will become useless out of Lao PDR.
~~ Weather, Peak and Low-Peak Seasons: ~~
The southwest monsoon arrives in Laos between May and July and lasts into October. So from May to end of September are actually low peak season where most of the hotels offer discount rate of USD 5 cheaper than peak season.
Dry period is from October to May, with lower temparatures and cool breezes which attract more tourists in this peak season.
The weather is actually very hot and humid when we visited Laos in Aug – Sep. The temperature went up as high as 33 degree celcius during day time. So if you hate hot, it’s advisable to visit Laos between November to February. But if you don’t mind the hot weather, visiting Laos in this low peak rainy season is actually a better choice.
~~ Enjoy the Rain in this Wet Season: ~~
1. Even though it’s rainy season, but it actually didn’t rain all the time. We only encountered one raining day out of our 6 days visit in Laos. And it rained after evening time which didn’t really affect our itinerary. According to the people in Laos, the rain usually drops at night and hides during day time.
2. Fewer tourists during this wet season. So you don’t have to worry that many strangers appear in your photos which create a confusion of the focus of the object in your photos.
3. Lower prices. Fewer travellers and lighter demand on accommodation and services means lower prices.