Laos Guide

Laos Guide

Country data

Location: Southeast Asia

Time zone: CET + 6 (during summer time: CET + 5)

Total area: 236,800 km²

Land area: 230,800 km²

Water area: 6,000 km²

Length of the state border: 5,083 km

Bordering countries are accounted for:
China: 423 km
Cambodia: 541 km
Myanmar: 235 km
Thailand: 1,754 km
Vietnam: 2,130 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Vientiane

Provinces: 17
Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan (Vientiane), Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xekong, Xiangkhouang

Electric current: 230 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 856 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Phu Bia 2,817 m


Population: approx. 6.8 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.6% per year

Population density (inh. Per km²): 29

Life expectancy: 62 (male), 66 (female)

Official language: Lao


  • 67% Buddhists
  • 33% other


The climate is tropical and hot. Only in the higher regions is it a little cooler.

In the capital, temperatures rise to over 40 ° C in April and May.

The humidity is always very high. It rains a lot. But especially in the monsoon season (June-October) there is heavy rainfall.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Kip (LAK)

Classification: 1 Kip = 100 Att (is no longer used)

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: These are very rarely accepted.

Regulations: Foreign currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. A declaration is required from an equivalent value of $ 2,000.

The import and export of the local currency is prohibited.

As a foreign currency, it is recommended to bring small denominations of US dollars. The notes should be as undamaged as possible and issued after the year 2000.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Personal jewelry up to a total weight of 500 grams can be carried duty-free.

The export of Buddha images is not allowed.

Travel advice

Armed robberies continue to take place in the countryside and in some cities. You should therefore not travel alone and only be accompanied by a local guide.

Behavioral advice

When renting motorcycles or mopeds, you should never leave your passport as security. In the event of theft or damage to the rental property, an arbitrary amount is often requested, without which the passport will not be returned.

The roads across the country are in very poor condition. It is therefore advisable to pay particular attention when driving.

Speedboats often run on waterways, but they are very dangerous. There are very often fatal accidents. Traveling with the slower boats is much safer.


Agriculture primarily serves the self-sufficiency of the population and is the most important branch of the economy. Mainly cotton, coffee, rice and tobacco are grown.

Although there are natural resources, the industry necessary for them is undeveloped.

Industries: building materials, power generation, gypsum and tin mining, wood processing, agriculture

Natural resources: gypsum, gold, wood, hydropower, tin

Land use:

  • Usable land: 3%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 3%
  • Forests: 54%
  • other: 40%


Over half of the country’s area is forested. Oak, pine, bamboo and sandal trees are the most common.


There are still many different animal species in the large forest areas. The big animals include monkeys, elephants, rhinos, leopards and tigers.

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