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  Maren & Kirk

Laos

Facts about country

Capital Vientiane

Population

4.75 million

Main Languages

Lao & Lao dialects (closely related to Thai), French

Electricity

2 Plug System 220 50 HZ

Currency

kip

Exchange Rate for US $ as of Dec 2001

9,500 kip per 1 US$

Safe to Drink Tap Water

No

Size

236,000 sq km

Transport

bus, plane, taxi, minibus, truck, boat, motorbike, tourist bus

Cash Machines (ATMS) No
Credit Card Usage No
Religion Buddhist, animist and spirit cults
Measurement System Metric System

Recommended Budget per Day in US $ 

Total Budget per Person Accommodation Meals Transportation Other
13 $ 2 $ 5 3 $ 3 $

Main things to See (we give descriptions only on places we visited)

Things to See  Visited Brief Description Recommend (10 is best 1 is don't bother)
Vientiane Y The Capital of Laos with only 300.000 inhabitants. The main attractions are Pha That Luang (the Great Sacred Stupa), Wat Pha Kaew, Wat Si Saket, Wat Xieng Khuan 7
Luang Prabang Y A nice town along the Mekong river that is slowly becoming a little touristy.  The main things to see are the  Royal Palace Museum, Wat Xieng Thong and Wat Wisunlat. There are also the Pak Ou caves outside the town. It is World Heritage Site. 7
Vang Vieng Y Vang Vien is a small town where one can hang out by the river or visit a few of the caves nearby or inner tube on the river.  6
Luang Namtha Y This northern town in itself has nothing much to offer. From here one can go on 1, 2 or 3 day treks to local villages.  One can also rent a bike and cycle through different villages which is really nice. 8
Ho Chi Minh Trail N
Plain of Jars N
Bolaven Plateau N
       
       

Popular activities and Tours (Being not included does not mean they do not exist)

Hiking / Trekking x
Scuba Diving  
Historical Sites x
Sightseeing tours x

Ballooning

Bungy Jumping

Safaris

Boat tours x
Fishing
Horseback riding
Canoeing
Camping
River Rafting
Sky Diving  
Abseiling
Surfing
Windsurfing
Kayaking x
Sailing
Mountain biking  
Rollerblading  
Motorbike x
Sand boarding
Snorkeling
Water Skiing

Skiing
Bicycling x
Others  Inner Tubing x

Feeling and Opinions on Laos

Laos is changing quickly and becoming really touristy.  It is less touristy than Thailand and cheaper, but is making it's way up there.  We did a one day trek though some tribal villages which was good.  We recommend to get there before it turns into a small Thailand and the people become hooked on tourism.

 

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