Climate and Clothing
Light-weight washable cotton or cotton-blent clothes are suitable. A sweater or coat is
needed for the winter and in upland areas.
Customs and Immigration
A valid transit, tourist visit, business, diplomatic, or service visa is required. All
foreigners may enter and depart Laos via Wattay Airport, or Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge,
the Mekong border crossing with Nongkai, Thailand.
A visa can now be obtained upon arrival at the airport and other official entry points.
However, certain regulations are applied.
Medical and dental facilities are mostly operated by the government. Private clinics
and pharmacies are available in the major cities. The International Clinic is operated
under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, to accommodate foreigners and diplomats.
Medicines from France, USA, Russia, Thailand and China are widely available in most
International telephone, fax, telegraph and telex services are available at post
offices, hotels and business centers. Mobile phones are widely used.
Several radio stations broadcast in Lao. The Lao National Radio carries news in
English, French and Thai. There are daily TV broadcasts, with two local channels, Thai
television and satellite reception.
Public transportation is by bus, taxi and samlo (rickshaw). There are both metered and
unmetered taxi. No railroad is available in Laos. Lao Aviation, Thai Airways
International, Cambodia and Vietnam Airlines connect Wattay Airport of Vientiane to
Bangkok, Yangon, Hanoi, Hochiminh City, Phnompenh and Kunming of China. Domestic flights
shuttle daily between Lao cities. Mittaphab Bridge across the Mekong to Thailand opened in
Local currency is called Kip. One USD is worth approximately 2,450 kip (1998). Money
can be exchanged at banks, authorized shops, or hotels. Exchange rates fluctuate everyday,
though fluctuation is tiny.
Banque pour le Commerce Exterier Lao, Sethathirath Bank, Nakornluang Bank, Joint
Development Bank, and Thai branch banks.
Travelers Checks and credit cards can be used at major banks, some hotels,
restaurants and shops.
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