Laos is a Southeast Asian landlocked country surrounded by Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and Myanmar. It has breathtaking natural splendor, including steep hills, deep forests, and the huge Mekong River. It’s also a country with a rich cultural background, welcoming people, and delectable cuisine. If you’re considering a backpacking trip to Laos, this guide will help you make the most of your trip.


The majority of nations are able to get a visa upon arrival at the airport or land border. The visa charge varies by country, however it is normally between $30 and 42 USD for a 30-day visa. You must provide a passport-sized picture and a passport with at least six months remaining validity. The Lao kip (LAK) is the official currency of Laos, however USD is commonly accepted, particularly in tourist destinations.


The bus is the most common means of transportation for backpackers in Laos. The buses are sometimes ancient and unpleasant, but they are inexpensive and dependable. Tickets may be purchased at bus stops or travel agencies in large cities. Tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are also widespread in Laos’ cities and towns, and they are both inexpensive and handy modes of transportation.


Backpackers in Laos have a variety of lodging alternatives. Hostels are the most popular option, and they can be found in almost all major cities and tourist locations. There are also guesthouses and homestays available for a more authentic local experience. Camping is another alternative, especially if you intend to climb or trek.


Laos has a diversified and wonderful cuisine culture that has been inspired by its neighbors Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Sticky rice is a mainstay of the Lao cuisine, and it’s offered with nearly every meal. Laap is a famous meal comprised of minced pork, herbs, and spices, while tam mak hoong is a spicy papaya salad popular with both residents and tourists. Lao beer is also a must-try, and it can be found in practically any pub or restaurant.


Luang Prabang – This UNESCO World Heritage Site has spectacular temples, colonial architecture, and a relaxed environment.

Vang Vieng – This backpacker haven is recognized for its beautiful natural environment, exciting activities like as tubing and rock climbing, and lively nightlife.

Vientiane – The capital city of Laos is a mix of old and contemporary, with historic temples and French colonial buildings coexisting with modern restaurants and cafés.

Plain of Jars – Thousands of massive stone jars are spread across a broad plateau at this intriguing archaeological site.

Pakse – This southern city serves as the entry point to the Bolaven Plateau, which is famous for its coffee plantations, waterfalls, and ethnic minority communities.


Trekking – The hilly topography of Laos is ideal for hiking, with breathtaking landscapes, secluded villages, and ethnic minority populations to explore.

Cycling – Cycling is a popular method to explore the countryside of Laos, with its peaceful roads and stunning landscape.

Water activities – The enormous Mekong River runs across Laos, providing chances for kayaking, rafting, and boat adventures.

Cooking classes – Cooking workshops in Luang Prabang and Vientiane teach you how to make classic Lao cuisine like laap and tam mak hoong.

Temples and museums – Laos has a rich cultural past, which you may discover by visiting the country’s numerous temples, museums, and historical sites.


  • Because Laos is a conservative society, visitors to temples and other cultural places should dress modestly and politely.
  • Laos is a cash-based country, so bring plenty of cash, especially if you’re going to remote areas where ATMs may be sparse.
  • Be prepared for sluggish internet and power interruptions in rural regions.
  • It is advised to avoid drinking tap water and instead drink bottled or filtered water.
  • Learn a few fundamental Lao words to show respect and aid conversation.
  • Respect local conventions and traditions, such as removing your shoes before visiting temples and refraining from touching someone’s head, which is considered impolite.
  • Bargaining is normal at marketplaces, but always do so with a smile and avoid becoming overly pushy.
  • Avoid using single-use plastics as much as possible to reduce your environmental impact.

To summarize, Laos is a beautiful and diverse nation that provides backpackers with a one-of-a-kind travel experience. It’s a location that should be on every traveler’s bucket list because of its gorgeous natural landscape, rich cultural heritage, and wonderful gastronomy. You may make the most of your backpacking journey across Laos by following these ideas and advice.

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