Laos: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Laos (a.k.a. the Lao People's Democratic Republic) is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia. It is a landlocked country filled with mountains. It borders with Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand. Laos is most often described as forgotten, but that is changing now as the country has invested more in tourism. Even though it doesn't have a lot of people there are 49 different ethnic groups that constitute Laos. Officially the country is Buddhist.
Regions of Laos
Northern Laos' region is filled with mountains. It borders with Myanmar, China, Thailand and Vietnam. It consists of a number of provinces: Phongsali, Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Udomxai, Sainyabuli. These provinces have some great cities that are worth a visit, such as Luang Prabang.
Central Laos borders with Thailand, Vietnam and Northern and Southern Laos. The provinces that are part of this region are: Hua Phan, Xiangkhaong, Vientiane, Bolikhamxai, and Khammouan. Located in this region is the capital city of Laos - Vientiane. Another great city located in this region is Vang Vieng.
Transportation in Laos
Before getting in Laos make sure that you have a valid visa if you are a citizen of the countries that have to have a visa. After that, you have a number of options to choose from on how to get in the country. One option is by plane via the international airports in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse. All these airports operate different international flights but not to so many countries. Another option is by train from Thailand. There are two trains that operate each day. You can also get in the country by land since most borders are open for foreigners. You can enter the country from Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Once you arrive in the country you have a few options to get around it. One option is by plane via the state carrier Lao Airlines. It is the fastest way to get almost to all parts of the country. Another option is by road however, keep in minds that the roads are not in such a good condition. The roads that connect some of the bigger cities are asphalted so they are nice to drive on. You can get around the country by bus, minibus or a converted truck. One more way to get around Laos is by boat along the Mekong. You can choose between going by a slow boat or by a speedboat. Make sure that you understand the risks of the speedboat before choose to use one.