I'm planning to go to Laos twice on my south east Asian travels. The first time will be with a tour company and I'll be flying in from Chang Rai and then spending 6 days there. I would then like to go back and spend more time there (say a couple of weeks) and am likely to return about 6 to 10 weeks later. What should I do about visa? Also, would it be ok to just get a visa when I'm there or should I get one before I go?
#1 Phoenix66 has been a member since 15/5/2011. Posts: 6
You can get a Visa on arrival with little hassle. Cost depends on your passport but will be between 20 - 30 USD (plus you get service with a smile for the extra dollar charged at some places to get your passport back . . . don't expect a receipt for that bit). When crossing borders always bring a couple of extra passport sized photos - I've had some points as for them and others didn't bother, but better safe than sorry. Be sure to bring USD for the purchase of the visa as if you pay in Baht it is more expensive.
Where are you going for 6 days with the tour groups? What do you plan to do on the return trip?
The British Foreign and Commonwealth website seemed to recommend getting a visa beforehand but if I could get one on arrival, that would be great. I take it that I just get a visa for each of the trips I make to Laos then?
Caseyprich - the tour goes to Pakbeng, Lunag Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. I then plan to go back for two weeks and just spend more time in those places as well as seeing Wat Phou. I'm open to recommendations though.
#4 Phoenix66 has been a member since 15/5/2011. Posts: 6
I'm not sure where you'll be coming back into Laos - but if you are in Cambodia or BKK, or Central Vietnam you could start off by entering in the South of Laos.
You could base out of Pakse in the South and head south to Wat Phu and Champasake just two hours from Pakse, an easy place to spend two nights minimum. Only a few hours furthers south you've got 4,000 Islands, some people end up getting lost there for two weeks, for me it was nice for three or four nights to really unwind.
Heading in a different direction, west by motorbike - though you can hire a car if you like, you can go up to the coffee growing and pioneer feeling town of Paksong (hitting a few waterfalls on the way). Also - there is Tad Lo which is a very rustic little village at the foot of a trio of waterfalls that you can swim around.
That said - there is also still a lot to see around Luang Prabang and if you want to go further afield there you could hit Nong Kiaow and Phonsovan.