Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Maps In Laos

Posted by itayze on 5/8/2010 at 16:19

Should I try to get maps before the trip or are there maps in the guest house and travel agencies in Laos towns ?
(Also Thialnad if you know )

#1 itayze has been a member since 2/8/2010. Posts: 14

Posted by somsai on 5/8/2010 at 19:59

This is probably as good as you're going to get.
http://www.ecotourismlaos.com/maps.htm
Just print one off.
GT Rider also has a map that's sold in most towns snd is ok.
Not a lot of good maps on Laos but then not much of a demand either, Vang Vien and Luang Prabang are above Vientiane and 4000 Islands is way below is about all the info most need.
More detailed of each town listing every banana panckake here.
http://hobomaps.com/
This web site itself has most of what you'd need for maps except where they link to google. Google maps have all kinds of highways that have never been and never will be shooting in straight lines up the sides of mountains and off into nowhere.
There are a couple of real maps good at showing small towns and elevation shading but roads can be suspect. I have one by a Canadian company and I saw an even better one in an online photo, names escape me.

#2 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568


Posted by tinoh on 6/8/2010 at 15:04

I suggest you get one before you go. We were in the south of Laos this april and wanted a map for doing a motortour. We couldn't find any map in the shops or at the tourist office.
Thailand is no problem.

#3 tinoh has been a member since 13/2/2010. Posts: 40

Posted by Rufus on 7/8/2010 at 14:07

"We couldn't find any map in the shops or at the tourist office."

Didn't look that hard then; both Monument Books and Phimphone have them.

#4 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by tinoh on 7/8/2010 at 17:35

"Didn't look that hard then; both Monument Books and Phimphone have them."

We searched in Pakse for a map and there we couldn't find any map. We asked around and they didn't tell us that we could get it by taking the night bus to Vientiane....

#5 tinoh has been a member since 13/2/2010. Posts: 40

Posted by somtam2000 on 7/8/2010 at 21:58 admin

@tinoh LOL

@somsai No idea why Googlebeast has the fictional roads on it. Weird --- perhaps projected future roads?

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by somsai on 8/8/2010 at 04:46

Thats what I was thinking too, but then it doubles back on itself and parralels a perfectly good road that has been there for decades and is the logical place to build, shoots on up over the top of highest peak around. Route 3 out of Muant Sing. Maybe district boundry.

I've looked at Vientiane and Pakse Google maps, might well be most usefull up to date available.

Maybe google makes automatic assumptions from all info sources available and somewhere electrons got crossed.

#7 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by Rufus on 8/8/2010 at 09:20

Somsai/Somtam, I have come across this too. The other thing I have found is that some roads are shown as paved roads and in fact are little more than bush tracks. A few people I know have been caught out this way.

#8 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by Rufus on 8/8/2010 at 09:21

Tinoh overnight bus? No way? Should have flown to Vientiane.

#9 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by Barns on 8/8/2010 at 13:07

The Vientiane Public Library on Lane Xang Avenue (going away from the river, on the left a bit before Patuxay (Lao Arc de Triomphe) sells quite good provincial maps with roads, a map of the whole country with the main roads and maps of all the major towns for 5,000 kip (about $0.61) a piece. However, they don't speak any English, well didn't when I went there. But if you ask for "pen tee", which is map in Lao, and name the province etc I'm sure you can work it out with them!

The maps of the towns aren't as good as the Hobo maps which are very good and sometimes quite funny. There are such locations as "Big Blue Building" and "The Ugliest Building in the World" etc if you look closely!

#10 Barns has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: Laos. Posts: 16
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Posted by Captain_Bob on 8/8/2010 at 15:44

Very popular with the serious Laos motorbike crowd is the Gecko map also found at Monument books. But it paints a sometimes unrealistic picture, making Laos backroads look like dreamy Swiss byways. Pretty much every biker seems to have this for detail plus the GT Rider map for reality-check. The GTR map is made by David Unkovich Inc. who's team rides absolutely everywhere equipped with GPS and are pretty up to date (just make sure you have the latest edition as the upgrades are pretty significant and I've definitely seen the older editions still on shelves).

Gecko Map http://www.flickr.com/photos/captain-bob/4870650401
GTRider Map http://www.flickr.com/photos/captain-bob/4871259074

#11 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,891

Posted by Archmichael on 9/8/2010 at 06:42

A company called Reise Know-How makes a very good map of Lao.

#12 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by Archmichael on 9/8/2010 at 06:43

Here's their website:

http://www.reise-know-how.de/

#13 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by itayze on 10/8/2010 at 02:09

I'll try to get the hobomaps and search for maps for the south area in Vientiane area .

Archmichael , where in laos or thailand can I get those maps ? ( i'm leaving in two days )

#14 itayze has been a member since 2/8/2010. Posts: 14

Posted by Archmichael on 10/8/2010 at 02:28

Itayze: Sorry - I don't know whether or not Reise Know-How maps are available in Lao or Thailand. I bought mine through a local (now sadly closed) map store here in the U.S.

#15 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396

Posted by itayze on 16/8/2010 at 17:04

Okay guys I got the Gt Rider Maps of laos (chiang mai ) , still looking for hobomaps (people here haven't seem to heard of it ) , maybe I'll have better luck in Vientiane area.

#16 itayze has been a member since 2/8/2010. Posts: 14

Posted by Barns on 17/8/2010 at 09:50

As mentioned above, you can buy Hobo maps of Vientiane , Nong Khai, Luang Prabang and maybe a few others in Vientiane. They're on the shelf next to the checkout in Phimphone Supermarket on Setthathirath Road opposite the restaurant Kop Chai Der next to the Nam Phou fountain. The Vientiane one is 16,000 kip (about US$2)and I presume the others are the same price but not sure.

#17 Barns has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: Laos. Posts: 16
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Posted by LaoNow on 18/8/2010 at 11:21

The Hobo Maps website has a listing of places that sell their maps, most of which are in Laos but a couple places in Chiang Mai also sell them I think.

#18 LaoNow has been a member since 14/5/2010. Posts: 38

Posted by itayze on 20/8/2010 at 16:10

My Gt Rider is from 2005 , bummer - how old is it ? .
maybe i'll get another one in lao - i'll still look for hobomaps .

#19 itayze has been a member since 2/8/2010. Posts: 14

Posted by somsai on 20/8/2010 at 19:43

Archmichael, every once in a while I pick up a little gem from reading these pages, your link to Reise Know-How was one of them, I just online ordered from their US distributer.

When I clicked on the zoomable thumbnail they had I zoomed in on the recognisable large resevoir north of the capital, then the famous backpacker haven of Vang Vien, then on the large mountain E of town, contour intervals and shaded relief. on a 1:600,000 map. If things run true to form there are many other features, that make German maps some of the best in the world.

Thank You.

Itaze my GT Rider map is the same age and still works well, maybe not THE most up to date but pretty well so, if anything you will be pleasantly suprised instead of the other way around. Best and most upsdated road info.

#20 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 568

Posted by Archmichael on 20/8/2010 at 21:04

Somsai: Glad to be of help. I do think the Reise Know-How maps are very high quality. Besides the Lao map, I also have their maps of Cambodia and Southern Viet Nam. They don't show any banana pancake shops, buy I guess you just can't have everything. ;)

#21 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396


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