Laos - the most mysterious and least developed country of the three former French colonies in Southeast Asia. Full name of Laos - Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Less than ten years ago this country was virtually unknown to travelers, however, in the past few years, Laos has become more accessible to foreign tourists. Essentially, this is a very poor, but very beautiful country with hospitable and kind locals.
By the mid-seventies, the devastating effects of colonial rule, ethnic conflicts and socialist experiments have put this country to its knees, forcing ten percent of the population to leave their homeland in search of a better life.
The lack of foreign influence helped to keep intact the traditional culture of Laos and today, after six decades of international isolation, when the country had grown accustomed to peace and economic stability, travelers are finally starting to think about the fact that Laos has always been one of the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia. You will see this by visiting the elegant colonial capital of Laos - Vientiane, the ancient Khmer temples and ancient mountain kingdom of Luang Prabang.
From the middle of the fourteenth century on the XVII century on the site of a powerful state of Laos existed Xang - "Kingdom of a Million Elephants." The state with the most unspoilt environment in Southeast Asia - is famous for the amazing combination of mountains, forests and rivers, colonial French architecture and ancient temples.
Most of the country consists of mountains, some of which are virtually unexplored by man, in remote areas of Laos are still finding unknown species.
Travel to Laos is best combined with a stay in Vietnam, Cambodia or Thailand.
Laos is located in the heart of Indochina. It is a small country, which extends for 1,000 km from north to south along the middle reaches of the Mekong. By the size of the territory of Laos is almost equal to the UK - 237 thousand. Sq. km. This is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Asia. Landlocked Laos has not. In the west it borders with Thailand, in the east - with Vietnam in the south - with Cambodia in the north - with the province of Yunnan in China, and in the north-west - with Burma (Myanmar). The grounds are covered with thick forests of Laos, the landscape consists of low hills and mountains, the biggest peak - Phu bya, height 2817 m. Mekong river flows along the border of Laos and Thailand and Burma border with Vietnam shares Annamitsky Spine.
Vientiane - the capital and largest city of Laos on the Mekong River. In Laotian city name sounds Wieng Chan, translated "city of sandalwood".
Thatluang Stupa (Pha That Luang) - the main attraction of the city, a symbol of national unity. Every year in early November, during a religious holiday, there is going to a huge number of believers from various Buddhist countries. Monument erected in the 16th century, and the current view of the monument acquired in the early 20th century by the French restorers. Here is the official residence of the Lao Buddhist patriarch. For tourists only available courtyard of the stupa.
Wat Si Muang (Wat Si Muang) (1563 g) - one of the most revered monasteries in the city where people worship the Buddha is not so much how much - the spirits of the city, living in the same column standing here, painted in yellow color. The column was found on the site of one of the abandoned ancient cities Rouge and moved here in the 16th century, but the temple was rebuilt several times. According to legend, when the site was chosen for the church, and under his foundation pit was dug, all waiting for a volunteer who is ready to sacrifice themselves to the gods. In the end, in obedience to the call of the gods, in the pit threw a pregnant woman.
Wat Si Saket (Wat Si Saket) boasts hundreds of ceramic and silver Buddha figurines of all types and sizes, standing in niches around the perimeter of the inner wall surrounding the monastery. The temple was built in 1818 and was the only building surviving in Vientiane during the attack the Siamese in 1828. The main building is interesting to look at the ceiling, paintings which are a clear influence of European painting. In the temple, from 8 to 11 and from 14 to 16.30. a museum (except Mondays).
National Historical Museum (Lao National History Museum) is housed in the former residence of the French governor, nearby Lao Plaza. The museum contains archaeological finds, photos, documents, samples Laotian folk art and handicraft products.
Patusay (Patuxai) - triumphal arch in the center of Vientiane, decorated with the national flags and banners of the Communist Party of the hammer and sickle. Mixing elements of European and oriental flavor makes this architectural monument rather unusual appearance. The monument was erected in 1968 in memory of the soldiers who died in the war for independence from France in Laos. Internal staircase leads to the observation deck (8:00 - 17:00), overlooking the center of the capital.
Black Stupa (That Dam, Black Stupa) - the oldest surviving structures in Vientiane, related, according to the researchers, from the 15th century. According to legend, this stupa lives sleeping seven-headed dragon, who first awakened in 1828 during the war with the Siamese and protect local residents.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Haw Pha Kaew). It was here for two centuries kept the famous all over Indochina Emerald Buddha, now located in the same temple in Bangkok. After some time, the temple was converted into a museum, where now exposed things the royal family, some of the figures of the Buddha, and behind the temple you can see one of the giant stone vessels, brought from Ponesavana. Opening hours are from 8 to 11 and from 14 to 16.30 (except Mondays).
Savannakhet city, often referred to by locals simply Shroud or "southern Luang Prabang", is the most visited country town south of Laos. This is not surprising - located on the ancient trade routes, it has always been a major trading center linking the coast of the South China Sea and the mountainous areas of Cambodia and Laos. Its architecture is quite unusual - the central part of the city is built up impressive buildings in the French colonial style, with wide boulevards by local standards, and many green areas. And the suburbs of the city, on the contrary, is a maze of narrow streets and colorful shopping areas with a strong Vietnamese flavor. Ethnic Vietnamese constitute almost 60% of the population of Savannakhet and live here for a few generations. Hence the colorful mix of Vietnamese and Lao traditions, which give the city a special charm. Here it is necessary to examine the Catholic Cathedral of St. Theresa (XVIII c.) And Thap Inghang temple (16 km from the city).
East of Savannakhet stretches the famous "Ho Chi Minh Trail" - which runs parallel to the border with Vietnam an extensive system of roads, trails and points of support, formed during the struggle against colonialism and the Vietnam War. Attempts USAF literally dumped on the land between 1965 and 1969, more than 1.1 million. Tons of explosives and herbicides, which caused heavy damage to nature and the population of the region. However, these lands have become a real mecca for fans of military history - here you can see dozens and hundreds of bunkers, tunnels and other underground structures of the North Vietnamese Army, as well as the remains of a huge amount of combat helicopters, fighters, bombers, tanks and other military equipment.
The ancient capital of Laos, a city with 32 monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The population of 16 thousand. Pers. the surroundings. Located in the valley of the Mekong, surrounded by mountains. Climate is more temperate than the south, and more cloudy. The rainy season - from July to October. In the 13th century the city Sava, as it was then called Luang Prabang, was first mentioned as a part of the Thai-Lao Lanna. In 1353, King Fa Ngum, killing his grandfather, founded the first kingdom of Lao - Xang, which existed until 1694. After its collapse Luang Prabang under the rule of local kings slowly falls asleep. He sleeps now.
Wat Thong Seng (Wat Xieng Thong) - the most beautiful and famous monastery of the city, built in 1560 in a classic north-Lao style - low roof and an abundance of gold paintings. The temple consists of several main buildings: a "sim", where the monks pray the main statue of the Buddha, "tai ho" - a library of manuscripts, "ho kong" - a tower with a gong (bell tower), "scullery" - the abode of the monks, and several "Thap "- stupas, where saints are buried or hermits. All these buildings are worth seeing in Seng Thong. Today the monastery is like a museum.
Watermelon Pagoda (That Pathum, Wat Wisunalat) complex structures Wat Visunalat located near the center of the city and was founded in 1513 during the reign of Chao Visunalata. In addition to the building of the monastery, of particular interest here is the "Watermelon Pagoda", so named because of its curious semi-circular shape. In 1887, the roving bands of the Himalayas took and plundered the city, sparing only a few churches - including proved and this pagoda. In 1887 the church was set on fire, and in 1896-1898. it was reconstructed. Opening hours: 8:00 - 17:00
Hill Phusi (Phu Si) In the city center, overlooking the Mekong and Khan rivers, it is worth quite a high hill Phusi. It has several large and small temples inhabited by hundreds of monks. From the top of a hill and offers a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Of particular interest is the gilded statue of Buddha in a thick rocky alcove on one of the slopes; old Soviet air defense installation slightly to the left; Thatomsi Stupa (That Chomsi); and Wat Phabatnya (Wat Pha Bat Neua), which houses the three-meter mark foot Buddha. The hill is great to accompany the sunset.
Wat Mai (Wat Mai Suwannabhumaham) in 1797 - one of the temples, which in 1887 was spared the pirates who captured and sacked the city. Apparently, it seemed to them too beautiful. One main entrance to the temple is surprising wealth of gilded paintings representing the patterns of people's life and scenes from the local version of the epic "Ramayana". Admission is free.
Wat Saen (Wat Saen). As the name implies, this monastery was founded on certain private donation of $ 100,000 kip. Likely to become one of the patron of Thai merchants - in any case, the main building of the monastery was built in Thai style, uncharacteristic for Luang Prabang. Here in the mid-20th century. lived one of the most hyped holy monks in the history of Laos, and here he died, thus ensuring his monastery stable income for several generations. By Wat Saen adjoins another monastery, Wat Nong Sikhunmeuang, its interesting colors in red tones.
Hmongsky market (H'mong market) - picturesque place, the best in town to buy souvenirs production ethnic hill tribes. Any thing is worth no more than $ 2. Affects the abundance patterns on the fabric clearly mythological origin, as well as wooden figures of demons, with red faces, in many sold here. However, nobody will be able to explain to you what is the meaning of drawn. Trekking on the market - is a separate tour: here curious to see the people in national costumes, fancy listening to music in an incomprehensible language ...
Kuang Si (Kuang Si) - a beautiful large waterfall, located 30 km south of the city. The waterfall is best to look in the winter, after the rainy season, but not during periods of drought. Along the path around the falls can climb the mountain via the mysterious jungle. Near the waterfall locals sell their crafts made of bamboo. The trip to the waterfall in the back "tuk-tuk" will cost no more than $ 5 per person, even cheaper - to rent a motorbike.
Caves Park - We (Pak Ou Caves). 25 km to the north, upstream of the Mekong, on the other side of the river there are two sacred caves in which locals, even before the advent of Buddhism in this region, worshiped the spirits. In the caves, you can see how the darkness go unknown corridors, and all protruding stones are countless Buddha figurines of all types and sizes. Near the ferry to the caves, in the village of Ban Pak V ("Ria"), you can have a snack and go to the local market.
Valley Jha - the main attraction of the North-Eastern part of the country. On the territory of the plains are concentrated several hundred stone urns of unknown origin and destination, collected in five groups. These huge buildings, the largest of which weighs 10.6 tons, cut about two thousand years ago in stone, which, by the way, in the nearby vicinity is not found. Recent excavations have revealed the presence in the territory of the plains of vast underground burial. And the rest of the many bombings of this strategically important area of the funnel give the landscape Jha absolutely unearthly appearance.
Champasak - the former capital of the kingdom of Chenla, and one of the oldest cities in the country. Around the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site complex of ancient ruins of Wat Phou (VI-XII centuries.), A network of streams and canals, forming a maze of 4,036 islands Si Phan Don ("Four Thousand Islands"), of which the most interesting island Don Khon Don Khon and Don Dhet that are literally teeming with tourists from neighboring countries. Also in the area of Si Phan Don is one of the main natural attractions of the region - a large population of the rare river dolphins iravadiyskih.
In the east, the region is fertile highlands plateau Bolaven separates the valley of the Mekong from the Annamite mountain ranges that form the border of Laos and Vietnam. Dominates the area of Champasak, Salavang, Sekong and Attapu, hilly plateau has an average elevation of about 600 m. Numerous wild rivers running down from the plateau in all directions, sinking under the crown of lush forests, and forming more than a hundred spectacular waterfalls, some of which have a height of more than 100 m. Much of the plateau region is scarcely explored by tourists from Europe, but is well known to travelers from South-East Asia. It is home to many distinct tribes, are grown one of the best coffee in the world, here is the ancient center of the Mon-Khmer culture, whose monuments still waiting to be explored.
In Laos, there are three seasons: a distinct wet hot - from May to October, the dry cool - from November to February and the hot dry - in March and April. Average temperature of December-January range from 14 to 23 C, in July - within 28-30 C. The highest temperature - about 40 ° C - can be in the valley of the Mekong in March and April, and the lowest - less than +5 ° C - on the plateau Sianghuang in Phongsaly (in the far north of the country).
Time ahead of Moscow for 4 hours. On the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in September - 3 hours.
Official language - Lao (Laotian, or lao liao) or Thai-Lao, referring to the Thai group paratayskoy language family. There are five major dialects, each of which is subdivided into sub-dialects (more than 70). Also common French, Thai and Vietnamese.
Lao kip of 100 Atama. Currency can be exchanged at the airport exchange offices and banks, but many banks work only with United States dollars or Thai baht. More favorable exchange rate usually offer exchange offices in the markets and in the vicinity of the main shopping streets, but in this case a high risk of fraud. Credit cards and travelers checks are accepted only large banks in the capital, take advantage of them in the province is almost impossible.
For trips to Laos Russian citizens need a visa. It can get at the Embassy of Laos in Moscow or in embassies and consulates in neighboring countries of Laos. Also a visa can be issued on arrival.
For a tourist visa must be submitted to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Laos in Moscow the following documents:
Passport (valid for a further 6 months)
2 completed questionnaires in English
2 black-and-white or color photos 4 x 6 cm
The fee for tourist visa is $ 20 for urgent processing - $ 40. Payment is made in cash in United States dollars directly at the consulate. Validity of a tourist visa is two months, the period of stay in the country - from 15 days to 1 month (depending on the information specified in the application form).
Standard term tourist visa at the Consular Section is three working days. If necessary, you can apply for a visa urgently within 1 business day.
Visa on arrival is available at any of the three international airports in Laos: Vientiane (Vientiane), Luang Prabang (Luang Prabang) or Pakse (Pakse).
In this case it will be necessary to fill in the visa application form in English, to provide two photographs of 4 x 6 cm and pay a fee of $ 30. In rare cases, the border guards may also require the production of tickets or vouchers.
If necessary, a visa can be extended directly to Laos. To do this, you must contact the office of the immigration service in Vientiane, complete an application form, provide one photo 4 x 6 cm, pay a fee of $ 30. Extend the validity of the visa can be twice (each time for 15 days).
Photographs of local residents is recommended only with their consent. In the markets it is common practice some small talk and buy from the seller, after which he simply can not refuse the shot.
Women do not have the right to appeal to the monks in turn Buddhist monks allowed to touch a woman or take anything out of her hands. Therefore, a woman who wishes to make an offering to the monk, must first pass it to the man, and he, in turn, give it to the monk. Possible and just put an offering on the edge of saffron cloak or shawl, which on the other hand is holding a monk. But in many churches these canons violated quite widely, so it is often easier to ask for orders in the territory of a particular object on the ground.
Men and women should not show affection for each other in public.
All the statues of Buddha, in whatever form or condition they may be, are considered sacred. Therefore, do not climb on them in order to be photographed (Punishment is usually pretty tough - until the destruction of the film, which depicted such sacrilege), or in any other form of disrespect them.
Touching the head of local residents (in Vol. H. Young children) means the application of terrible abuse. Seated man, especially if he crossed his legs, in any case should not pay a foot in the direction of people and Buddha statues.
The traditional greeting in Laos - "wai" or "NLP" - composed of "a boat" palm applied to the head (but not above the level of the nose) or chest without touching the body. Often accompanied by a slight bow gesture to express respect for people of higher status or age. This is not just a gesture of greeting, and for the most part with a certain status effects etiquette. Order of the commission "so as" very strict and subordinated to the whole code - hand position and duration of the gesture is determined by the social position of the acclaimed - the greater the person, the higher the climb the palm and the longer the gesture. You can not "return" "so as" to children and service personnel, there are also a number of other conventions, so it is better not to adopt the tour this custom blindly without first examining in detail all the details of its application. In everyday life, the locals quite cost friendly nod and a universal "hi" to shake hands with each other is not accepted.
Family - an important and powerful unit of Lao society. Average Lao family, according to statistics, is composed of seven members: father, mother, children (sometimes already married) and elderly parents, as well as one or two other relatives. The head of the family is usually the man, but no harassment of women in the country is not, so in the modern Laotian family, especially in the cities, you can see it is the European system of relationships. Laotian parents usually try to avoid direct supervision of children. In the tradition of local training and education of children is done through communication with other members of the family and society. Also, parents seldom intervene in the choice of spouses for their children - one of the local legend says that true love comes only a couple that was in love with another "in a previous life."
Sami ceremony courtship and marriage are quite complex. Traditionally, the groom's parents give gifts or some money to parents of the bride before the wedding. However, this is not a buy-out or something like that - after the wedding the young begin to family life, as part of the household of the family of his wife, and so live for two to three years. And only a few years later, often after the birth of children, young family gets an opportunity to start your own home (usually in this case they are trying to find accommodation in the vicinity of the house her husband's parents).
In the past, Lao used only names, and they are not given by parents, elders, or astrologers, who picked up (and pick up to now) with their special meaning. Families, began to use only since 1943, when they were introduced by force, by law. However, the locals still refer to each other only by name and kept the tradition to change their names according to the occupation, profession or social status. The bride can take the name and surname of the husband, or leave your own initials, but the kids get their father's name. Inheritance is conducted through the male line. At the same time, strong family ties are stored in a young family with both parents' homes. Divorce - a rare phenomenon. Monogamy is encouraged, but polygamy is perfectly legal.
Festivals in Laos are usually linked to agricultural seasons and Buddhist holidays. Celebrating Lunar New Year takes place in mid-April, accompanied by numerous religious ceremonies and street festivities. In May you can watch the festival Bun Bang Fai, during which the Lao dancing, singing and firing off bamboo rockets, praying to the gods for rain. In November in Vientiane held a week-long festival of dance and fireworks Luang.
Holidays and weekends
January 1 - New Year's Eve
January 20 - Army Day
February - Buddhist holidays and festivals
March 8 - International Women's Day
13 to April 16 - New Year (Lunar)
May 1 - Labour Day
August 15 - Constitution Day
August 23 - Victory Day
October 14 - Water Festival in Vientiane
December 2 - Day of the Nation
Traditional cuisine Laos
Lao cuisine has inherited a lot of traits of the peoples living in the country. Cuisines of neighboring Thailand, Cambodia, China and Vietnam have had a significant impact on the national cuisine of Laos.
Rice - the basis of the local cuisine. The most common species is its "white rice" ("khao yao"), fried rice ('khao phat "or" khao-chick ") and" sticky rice "(" khao-Nyau "), which is rolled into balls and lowered the sauce. As a rule, accompanied by rice with fish or meat dishes, soup, which Laotians eat even for breakfast, as well as fresh vegetables or salad, tofu or greens. Sometimes used instead of rice noodles, both as a garnish to many dishes, and as a separate dish, like fried noodles "Khuan," the finest noodle "Niamh-nuang" or "E", noodles with sauce "haeng" or soup thin noodle "FOE".
Meat on the table a little Lao. However, local dishes from fresh-water fish, poultry, duck, pork, beef or water buffalo meat, received the recognition it deserves. Worth a try traditional Laotian dishes "paws" or "LAAA" of meat or fish, lime juice, garlic, rice, green onions, mint and chili kind of pickled sausage "som-mu", empanadas and greens "hiring-nuang" , fried chicken "kai-lao" stuffed with rice and cinnamon chicken, salad of pork with garlic, eggplant, herbs and fish sauce "paw-mu", beef salad with greens "channam-tuk", a stew with cabbage quail "knock -kho-hum-sais-kalampi "or" op-lam-yard-CWC "spicy meat broth" lam ", or local specialties from meat snakes, deer, squirrels, civet cats or lizards. Also good fish dishes such as "sushi-dads" - fish in coconut milk, spicy fried catfish "pa-ling-sushi" or small fried fish "sushi-pa-magnons", as well as shrimp salad "Pla Goong . "
Holiday menu can include eggs, poultry, beef or venison. Lime juice, mint, lemon grass (lemon grass) and coriander give local dishes typical of the strong smell, and a variety of sauces like fish "we pas" are used instead of salt. At the same time, to add flavor to a dish often add hot pepper, garlic, basil, fish paste "padek", peanut butter, tamarind juice "we Makham pyak", coconut milk and other ingredients. The quantity of pepper and other spices varies considerably in the same dish from different ethnic groups.
But the vegetables in the local menu abound. And in the manufacture of vegetable dishes Laotians use a variety of formulations, are the legacy from the era of French rule, bringing to them a national flavor. Very good, "there-mak-Hung" or "there-Som" -salat of fresh papaya, garlic, chilli, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice (often it is added shrimp or crab meat), salad of watercress, as well as Thai rice salad with raw vegetables and fermented fish sauce "kao-pits." To the table serves a variety of cakes and baguettes, which are used both as a kind of sandwich, and as a spoon, picking up their sauce or rice.
The best way to complete a local meal - try local fruits ("Mak Mai") or desserts such as bananas in coconut milk "us-van-mak-Chiaia" or "Chiaia-namuan" sweet rice with mango pulp "khao-neu -ma-muang "fried water chestnuts, sweet rice with coconut milk, oranges in syrup, all kinds of sweet puddings, cookies made from rice flour or peculiar local jelly coconut milk, coconut pulp and ice (found in all colors of the rainbow).
The most popular drink in the country - fruit juices "poppy-Mai-pan" with a high content of fruit pulp, mixed with ice and sweetened condensed milk, and fresh fruit juices citrus "us-mak-nao" sugarcane juice "us-ou "coconut juice and" us-mak-Phao. "In Laos, the annual production of 20 thousand tons of coffee, so it is not surprising that the consumption of this drink country is one of the leading places in Southeast Asia.
Laotians drink very strong coffee "kafeh-Haun", which is usually added condensed milk and sugar. Black coffee without sugar is called "kafeh Dame Bou-sais-us-tan" and is used much less frequently. Black tea is usually sold in coffee shops and used with condensed milk ("ti-Haun"), and the traditional green tea drink in his usual form for the region - very hot and almost no sugar. There are a huge number of varieties of green tea, each of which has its own special set of color and aroma.
Local beer "Lao" ("bya-Lao") is famous for pretty good taste and very cheap. Of alcoholic beverages are the most popular rice wine "lao-lao" (on sale occurs as an industrial distillation - mark "Sticky-Rice" and home production) and rice wine "lao-hai" or "khao Cams." In many stores you can find a good selection of French wines and other imported drinks.
Additional charges Laos
When departing from the country will be charged an airport tax (international flights) - about $ 10 per person. Exempted from payment of duty, children under 2 years of age, transit passengers leaving the country on the same day and did not go beyond the transit hall, as well as holders of a certificate of exemption from the collection, issued by the Ministry of Finance of Laos.
Political system Laos
In Laos, one-party government of the country provides the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LNRP) communist type. The President is elected by parliament for five years.
About 6.2 million (annual growth of 2.4%). Laos is the least populated country in Southeast Asia.
Import and export of foreign currency is not limited (amount over $ 2,000 in cash or travelers' checks must be presented to customs officials at the border crossing and is declared). Import and export of local currency is prohibited.
The import from countries that do not have common borders with Laos: cigarettes - 500 pcs., Or 100 cigars or 500 grams. tobacco; spirits - 1 bottle of wine - up to 2 bottles; personal jewelry - up to 500 gr.
Prohibits the importation of weapons, explosives, toxic and flammable substances and narcotic drugs and to make them. Banned the export of works of art and antiquities, is a national treasure, Buddha images (allowed to export only souvenir options), weapons, explosives and toxic and flammable substances, drugs and money to produce them.
Medical aid Laos
For a trip to Laos officially No vaccinations. However, the whole of Laos, Vientiane, and with the exception of Luang Prabang, is an area with an increased risk of malaria, so before you go to remote areas in the wet season, it is desirable to take measures for the prevention of this disease. It is also recommended to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid.
Health developed in the country at very low levels in some areas it is simply not available. In large cities, there are pharmacies. All treatment is paid in cash. For serious cases, assistance is provided in Thailand. Before the trip, we recommend you take out health insurance.
Working hours Laos
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 13:30 to 17:30. Shops are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 16:00. Private shops are open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 21:00.
With the help of foreign governments in Laos was able to organize a network of roads, but many of them do not have asphalt pavement. The country's main highway is Highway 13, connecting Luang Prabang and the south of the country. Between provinces and within the main modes of transport are buses and trucks, but not to each province can be reached by public transport. Types of buses ranging from a converted truck with benches to large modern buses with air conditioning.
An alternative bus service is river transport. The main waterways are used for transport are the Mekong River, Nam Ou, Nam Khan and Nam Ngum. Railways in Laos is not.
The city can move around on a tuk-tuk. Payment for a taxi in Laos produced exclusively by an agreement, although there is some set fee, which is usually half dollars per km. Agree it is always better before you sit down in the car. Taxis can be hired as a separate trip, and for the whole day. In Vientiane taxi can be found in Votaysk airport, the Friendship Bridge and Morning market.
Almost everywhere, you can rent a bicycle or motorbike. Car rental is possible in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse, but the price is quite high, and therefore the service in Laos undeveloped.
Potable water Laos
To drink, you must use bottled water.
Mains voltage of 220-230 V, 50 Hz. Plugs generally have flat connectors.
State hotels and upscale restaurants are usually added to the score of 5-10% for the services, so leave a tip is not necessary. But a small reward staff only improve the quality of service.
Shorts (for both men and women) are only permitted on the beach and in the hotel. At the entrance to any home, and especially in the temple, you must take off your shoes. At the same time, the territory (not inside, namely the territory), some churches can be reached only in the shoe, which is closed heel). Many Lao houses are raised above the ground on stilts or a high base, so the shoes are left on the stairs. When you visit public places and, especially, temples, long pants or skirts should be sufficient to cover the ankles.
Helpful information Laos
Most hotels have phones, with which you can make international calls. In all cities, you can call from the post office, and in the capital and in several other major cities - from the offices of Telecom. Payphones in Laos are not widespread. In major tourist centers there is an internet cafe.
To make a call from Russia to Laos you need to dial 8 - 10 - 856 - area code - phone number.
To make a call from Laos to Russia you need to dial 00 - 7 - city code - phone number.
Fire service - 190
Police - 191
Ambulance - 195