The official name of the country is Lao People's Democratic Republic. In Lao, Sathalanalat Pasathipatai Pasason Lao. Laos, which in the Lao language is Pathet Lao--pathet means land or country, from the Sanskrit pradesha.  Laos has peace. It is finally enjoying it after some 300 years of wars.  Laos has become the most inviting in many respects for investment. It is politically stable, and has been since 1975 & has immense natural resource availability. Laos is finding that being a landlocked little country on natural land and river routes between Thailand, Vietnam and China now makes it a country to be courted by its internationalizing neighbors. Laos has become the political and economic front-runner in economic reform to meets the needs of its people for today and tomorrow. Free markets and private foreign investment have been the norm since 1989. There has been a continuous streamlining of the system toward economic development, each new addition making it simpler and hence more inviting to potential investors.    

VISA All visitors need a visa on arrival.
Tourist Visa Tourist visas valid for 15 days stay, 
Money Kip used also baht & US$  May 2000 1US$= 7,560 kip 1 Thai baht= 201 kip
Air Entry to Vientiane International Airport. From Chiangmai to Luang Phrabang Dep 11.20 Arr 1220 Thursday & Sunday.Luang Phrabang to Vientiane Dep 1250 Arrive 1330.             Lao Aviation 240 Prapokklao Rd, A Muang. Chiangmai 50200 Tel: 418-258/9 Fax: (053)418-260
bulletBangkok by Lao Aviation or Thai Airways
bulletChiangmai by Lao Aviation
bulletHanoi by Lao Aviation or Vietnam Airlines
bulletHochiminh by Lao Aviation
bulletKhunming by Lao Aviation or Yunnan Airlines
bulletPhnom Penh by Bangkok Airways
bulletRangoon by Lao Aviation
bulletSingapore & Chiangmai by Silk Air
Custom: Good bargains of silver, gold, hilltribe items. Antiques Buddha images and ancient cultural artifacts are prohibited to be taken out of Laos. If you have already travelled in other countries, declare your valuable items to customs upon departure. If you buy silver or copper items in Laos, you may be  required to pay custom duty according to weight at the airport. Money is easily changed & you can use baht or US$ plus Kip.

              [ Laos Visas ]

TAXIS 
On arrival at Wattaya International Airport in Vientiane, taxis are available to take you into town. The airport is about ten minutes from Vientiane's Centre and though some taxis have no meters, there is a price list posted at the airport lounge for your guidance. If you can team up with other passengers then share the taxi or go to the main road & take a motorcycle taxi. Don't worry Vientiane is a small place & everyone knows where the immigration is. The people are nice and very helpful & a little different from Thais'. However bargain.

AIR TRAVEL:
Thai International and Lao Aviation both fly to Vientiane from Bangkok. Also flights from Hanoi, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Luang Prabang (daily), Savannakhet (daily), Luang Namtha (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Xieng Khouang (daily), Pakse (daily), Oudomxai (Tu, Th, Sat, Sun), Xayyabuli (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun), Houixay (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat), Thakhek (Fri), and Saravane (via Savannakhet, Sun. only). 

TRAIN & BUSES:
Trains leave Hualumpong Railway station in Bangkok daily for Nong Khai but you must stay overnight in Nongkhai. Air conditioned buses leave  Bangkok MorChit 

MEKONG RIVER:
The mighty Mekong River is the longest and most important water route, flowing through 2030 km of Laos, providing a natural means of transportation. However, its navigability is limited to 1330 km, mainly because of rapids between Savannakhet and Pakse, the Khong Falls, and low water levels during the dry season. Beside the Mekong River, the following rivers are also used for water transportation: Nam Ou, Nam Khan, Nam Tha, Nam Hgur, and Se Don.                      

INFRASTRUCTURE:
Lao PDR has 13100 km of main road networks. The 3390 km of national roads link major towns, provincial capitals to neighbouring countries. 1620 km of them are paved. The rest are mostly earth-surfaced, connecting towns and large villages within provinces.
The main road system is the National Road No. 13, 1370 km long, linking Pak Mong in the North with Khong in the South, passing through major urban areas of Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Savannakhet and Champasack.  National Road No. 9 leads to the Vietnamese border.

HEALTH:

Malaria is a preventable infection that can be fatal if left untreated. Prevent infection by taking prescription antimalaria drugs and protecting yourself against mosquito bites especially in the wet season. be prepared when you go up country. Take anti malaria roll on or spray.

The Australian Embassy Clinic
Nehru, Street Phonexay.
Tel: 41-3603, 41-3610, 41-2343.

Open Mon, Tu, Th, Fri; 08:30-12:00 and 14:00-17:00
and Wed; 8:30-12:00
The Swedish Embassy Clinic
Sok Paluang.
Tel: 31-5015 (clinic), 21-7010, 31-5018 (Embassy)

Open Mon, Tu, Wed, Fri; 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00
and Th; 08:00-12:00

POLICE
Emergency Tel: 41-2536 (Police of Prefecture)

Chanthabouri District: 21-3907-8
Xayasettha District: 41-2455
Sikhottabong District: 21-2712
Sisatanak District: 41-2538

COMMUNICATIONS:
The central telephone office is located on Setthathilath Road near Nam Phu Circle (Nam Phu Fountain), and is opened from 08:00 to 22:00 daily. Fax, and telefax services are also available.
International Direct Dialing is available in Vientiane. When calling from overseas: the country code is 856, and the city code is 21.

NEWSMEDIA:
The local newspaper to read is the Vientiane Times and if you want to check their website go to: www.laoembassy.com as the site known as ( www.vientianetimes ) has NOTHING to do with the paper. The Vientiane Times takes no responsibility for the content, news & stories appearing on this site & its sad to see how others feel they should have this URL. The Times is published on Tuesdays & Friday & mailing address is:P.O.Box 5723, Vientiane, Lao PDR, Tel: (856-21)216-364 Fax: 216-365 & is open weekdays 8am-4pm.

LIBRARIES:
NATIONAL LIBRARY is in Saetthathirath Rd, Namphu. Open Mon-Friday 8am to 12 noon & 1pm to 4pm.

AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY opposite the AusAID office is open on Wed 2-5 & sat 9.30-12.30pm Free membership & everyione is welcome

FRENCH CENTRE on Lane Xang Ave Mon-Fri 9.30- 12.30pm 2pm to 6.30pm Wed 9.30-6.30pm Sat 9-12pm

BARGAIN BUYS:
Vientiane still has the French flavour and are famous for their barquettes. It's also the place to buy silver and gold plus hill tribe goods and assorted handicrafts. The best buys are by far the sterling silver & prices are half what they are in ChiangMai and Thailand. The people are friendly and different from their Thai neighbours but Vientiane has an excellent  lay back feeling to it. if you haven't been there then you are mssing an adventure. Coffee is also cheap to buy.

EATING PLACES: 

Healthy & Fresh Bakery: 44/4 Ban Xieng Yeun, Sethathirath Rd. Vientiane  Tel:(856-21) 215265 near Namphou Fountain where you can also receive a copy of the ChiangMai Trader News

 

                                

The Scandinavian Bakery: 74/1 Phangkham Rd, Vientiane Tel: 21-5199, Fax: 215-231 www.travelao.com Delicious baked goods created daily, by Sune Wissmar and his staff. Start your day with a croissant, or any of our other fresh pastries. Enjoy a variety of sandwiches on your favourite bread that can be eaten in air conditioned comfort or taken away. Choose your favourite from our daily specials. Relax and watch satellite television while enjoying your meal. Open 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 PM.  And be sure to visit their new location in Luang Phrabang!

 

                          

WHERE TO STAY:

UPMARKET: French colonial    Settha Palace Hotel

 

  Vientiane, Laos Introducing this newly renovated Hotel. The Settha Palace Hotel, which was built in 1930, underwent a  4 year restoration program and is now restored to its former charm. The French colonial architecture, period furniture, landscaped gardens complemented by modern facilities are some of the features of this historical landmark in the heart of Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The hotel imparts an old world charm through style and decor which is elegant yet comfortable, classic yet casual. The hotel is ideal for individual travelers or select small groups who look for a different hotel experience in a New Destination. The hotel is offering a special promotion rate of US$88.- ++ for a deluxe room.

Mr Jacky Maillard General Manager                 Settha Palace Hotel, 6 Pang Kham Street, P.O. Box: 1816, Vientiane, Lao PDR. Tel: (856-21) 217581-2. Fax: (856-21) 217583. Email: settha@laonet.net Thirty luxurious guestrooms and suites available - another 18 poolside studio and suites with private terrace, ideal for extended stay, ready by mid 2000. Each room is fully air-conditioned. French period furniture reproduction, including rose wood 4 and 2 poster beds. marble bathrooms, separate long bath and shower. Shaver outlet with adapter, electric current 220 W, hairdryer, fully stocked mini-bar, in-room safe. Non smoking rooms are available. A 2 line telephone with IDD facilities and additional socket for fax and computer. Colour TV with satellite stations. Want to see more then [ Click here]

Anou Hotel Heng Boun Rd. Vietiane. Tel (856-71)213-635 email: anouhotel@microtex.com.la 

Auberge Le Calao P.O.Box 230, Mekong Riverside Rd. Tel: (856-71)212-100 Mobile 020-517-128 Fax: (856-71) 212-100 email: calaoinn@laotel.com 

Phouvao Hotel Phouvao Rd. Tel: (856-71)212-194 Fax: (856-71) 212-534 www.pansea.com  phouvao@hotmail.com 

Villa Santi Vat Sene Quarter/ Sakkarine Rd. Tel 212-317, 212-267 fax: 252-158  villsanti@laonet.net 

GUEST HOUSES:

Duang Champa Bar, Restaurant & Guest House Vat Sene, Thanon Kingkitsarath (au bord de la Nam Khan) Tel/fax: (856-71)212-420 

Ban Lao Restaurant & Guest house, Ban Mano Tel: (856-71) 252-078  Fax: (856-71)212-438

Huauo Guest House Samsethai Rd, Chanthabouly. P.O.Box 4490 Tel (856-21)216612 

Auberge Du Temple Vat Kunta, Luang Phrbung Rd. P.O.Box 2712. Tel (856-21) 214844

Koto GH Nongbone Rd Chanthabouly . P.O.Box 4284. Tel (856-21) 421-849

Lakeo Sibounheuang Rd, Chanthabouly. P.O.Box 9907. Tel/fax: (214-930 )

Manoly  Fa Ngum Rd, Sisattanak, Tel: 218-907

Oudomphone  22/241 Dongpalan Rd, Saysettha. P.O.Box 1943. Tel 412-308

Phanomsinh  117 Saphangmo St, saysettha. P.O.Box 1943 Tel: 412144  412745

Sihpme  Sihome St, Chanthabouly Tel: 214-562

Sweethome  Thadeua Rd Sisttanak. Tel 314-046

Thawee on 64 Phnom Penh St. Chanthabouly/ Tel/Fax: 217-903

Tutu Thongtoum St, Sisattanak. P.O.Box 1080 Tel: 222544

Their are many more guest houses to choose from.

RESORTS

Lao Pako 14 Fa Ngum Rd, near Nam Ngum River, Pak Ngum District. P.O.Box 3773. Tel: 222-925  212-981

Dansavanh Nam Ngum Resort & gaming Centre of Laos. this resort is 60 km from Vientiane, ban Keun Rd, Tel for info: 217-594 fax (214-605. 020-516268

The Boatlanding Guest House: Try this Guest House which is out of the way but offers excellent tours and is an excellent site if you want to stay and travel upcountry a bit. It has all the travel routes & can offer vegetarian meals. Prices around $US6-7 per night.  Bill Tuffin
Webmaster & Luang Namtha Travel Counselor. The Boat Landing Guest House
PO Box 28. Luang Namtha Laos tel: ++856-86-312-398 email: theboatlanding@yahoo.com  website: www.theboatlanding.com 

RESTAURANTS

Indochina Spirit Restaurant. 50/51 Vat That, Phothisarath Rd, Tel/fax: (856-71)252-372  indochina@yahoo.com 

L'Elephant Restaurant Vat Nong Tel: (856-71) 252-482 Fax: 252-482 email: elephant@laotel.com

Tamnak Lao Restaurant. vat Nong (opposite the Planet Email Shop) Tel: 252-525

Information on Laos and sightseeing  visit  

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