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Travel Information about Laos
The easiest entry points to Laos are the Wattay International
Airport in Vientiane (daily flights from/to Bangkok with Thai
Airways or Lao Airlines), and
the Mekong River Friendship Bridge 20km from Vientiane. The 1994 opened
Friendship Bridge connects Vientiane with Nong Khai on the Thai side, with direct trains
connections from/to Bangkok, of shuttle services to Udon Thani, the next largest
city in Thailand with a domnestic airport.
A Visa on Arrival for about US$ 30 is available at the Vientiane, Luangprabang, and Pakse airports and the Friendship Bridge. This service was introduced in August 1997. A passphoto and of course a valid passport are required among other things.
A Lao visa is available through Lao embassies, e.g. in Bangkok, Berlin, Paris, USA, others. Do not buy a visa at travel agents in Vietnam or Thailand (risk of scam).
Travelling in Laos is not as easy as in most western countries, but it is becoming increasingly better. The necessary infrastructure is in development and continuosly improved. However, it is highly recommended for all traveller to be well prepared for trips especially for journeys in the Lao country side. Check frequently for the latest information as it is changing all the time in the rapidly developing environment.
The information available on the Internet is not always updated on a regular basis. Check different sites!
Vientiane, Asia's Charm City
Report by Michael Patrick Anderson, Special to The Washington Post, February 11, 2001