Flag of Laos

How to get to Laos

Planes, trains and automobiles


Laos boasts international land crossings with Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China and international flight connections to Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.


You'll need a passport with at least six months of validity remaining to enter Laos.

The vast majority of foreign tourists enter Laos on a tourist visa. This visa can be organised via a Lao embassy or can be organised on arrival. The typical visa is valid for 30 days. Visa extensions are possible.

For more information, see our Laos visa page.


Laos has three international airports: Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Luang Prabang International Airport in Luang Prabang and Pakse International Airport in Pakse.


The Lao national carrier is Lao Airlines. It flies international as well as domestic routes. A second domestic carrier, Lao Air, flies a restricted number of domestic routes.

A number of international carriers now fly to Laos, including:

Air Asia
Bangkok Airways
China Southern
Vietnam Airlines


You'll almost always get a better rate for a long-haul fare shopping around online, but traditional agents are still worth a try. If you haven't already, give our story on getting a cheap airfare to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam a read.

As only a few international airlines fly into Laos, Bangkok and to a lesser extent Hanoi remain the main gateways. If you're coming from further afield, for example Europe or North America, it often works out cheaper to purchase a long-haul ticket into one of Southeast Asia's hubs and then continue on to Laos with a budget carrier.

Overland crossings

Please refer to our Laos borders page for detailed information on Laos' border crossings or the Visa and border crossings FAQ for detailed crossing information, including trip reports from other travellers.


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