Sunday, January 30, 2011

Travel Tips and advice from Active Travel Laos

After years of war and isolation, Southeast Asia’s most pristine environment, intact cultures and quite possibly the most chilled – out people on earth mean destination Laos is fast earning cult status among travelers. Active Travel Laos (http://www.activetravellaos.com) shows some travel tips and advice in Laos.

Vientiane, LaosVientiane, Laos

Laos is a country that offers plenty of challenging terrain, interesting sites and activities for the adventurous. You can kayak or go boating down the Mekong, trek through jungles atop an elephant, go exploring and even rock-climbing in limestone caves, hike mountains in search of remote and ancient temple ruins or camp out in wildlife conservation parks.

Below on this Laos Country Guide is some useful travel information for visitors contemplating a trip to Laos, including suggestions on where and when to go, visa requirements, money used, information about Laos food and drink as well as a handy Travellers' Dos and Don'ts list.

Traveller Dos and Don'ts

- Do dress modestly when entering temples, museums, official buildings and government offices; no shorts or sleeveless shirts, tank tops or beach wear. Shorts that cover the thighs are acceptable everywhere else. Be clean and neat in appearance whenever possible.

- Do like the locals and keep your sense of time flexible. Expecting punctuality will often lead to frustration.

- Do remove shoes when entering temples and homes (it is convenient to wear slip-ons or sandals).

- Don't point your feet towards people or Buddha images. When sitting in a temple, keep legs together and to the side in a mermaid position.

- Do consider leaving a small donation when visiting temples.

- Don't take pictures posing with Buddha images, handle, climb or sit on them.

- Don't, if you are a woman, touch monks, hand them objects, sit with or talk to them outside of temples. Any offerings need to pass through the hands of a man first.

- Do ask permission before taking pictures of people, particularly in villages outside the cities where the people may have superstitions against being photographed.

- Don't touch people or children on their heads.

- Don't lose your temper in public - speaking loudly and angrily is often counterproductive.

- Don't engage in public displays of affection.

- Do greet someone who is greeting you - by nop, handshake or a polite bow and smile - but don't offer a kiss!

- Do respect the Laos' interpersonal space - there is little physical contact or closeness between individuals who are not family.

- Don't be surprised if someone goes right past you to get to something first - Laos generally do not queue up for anything.

- Do bargain for goods in markets and shops (except where there are fixed prices) but do so with a good attitude and smile. Prices are generally not inordinately high to begin with as they may be in other Asian cities.

Luang Prabang, LaosLuang Prabang, Laos

Visas and Passports

Passports

Passport with at least six months remaining validity required by everyone who enters Laos.

Visas

Required by all nationals from the UK, Australia, Canada, USA and EU countries.

Visa requirements are subject to change and you should check with your embassy to check the latest visa requirements.

Visas on arrival are for 30 days for most nationalities and this can be extended a max of two times for up to 30 days each time.

The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that visas can be issued upon arrival in Laos to tourists at the following ports of entry: Wattay Airport in Vientiane; Pakse and Luang Prabang Airports; Friendship Bridges in Vientiane and Savannakhet; and land-border crossings at Boten, Huay Xai and Chong Mek.

Visa Cost

Visa cost ranges from $20 (China) to $42 (Canada). Sweden is $31, $35 for the USA, UK and most of Europe, $40 for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and $30 for Australia. The full list is on display at the Visa Application window.

Validity

All visas are issued for single entry and must be used within two months of date of issue.

Applications to: Consulate (or consular section at embassy) or an officially recognized tour operator. A visa valid for Laos can also be obtained from travel agencies in Bangkok (Thailand) or on arrival.

Active Travel Laos (http://www.activetravellaos.com) is member of ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA offers a wide selection of Laos adventure tours, including hiking and trekking, kayaking, biking, motorcycling, overland touring and family travel packages. The travel packages and custom itineraries will take travelers through exotic destinations to really experience the culture, history and nature of Laos.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wild Adventure Vacation Tips In Laos

Laos is a must trip if you should be on vacation in this exotic part of Asia. If you are looking for an adventure too, then these vacation tips will point you in the right direction.

Many visitors to South East Asia miss Laos out in favor of the more popular destinations of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

It may be true that traveling to Laos is nothing less than an endurance test - but a beautiful, unspoiled wildlife and a sprinkling of exquisite temples should make the trip worth it. With its exciting terrain, well preserved natural ecosystems and numerous waterways, Laos is now emerging as a premier outdoor adventure destination in this part of Asia.

One of the best things about Laos, apart from its rugged beauty and natural attractions, is the low cost of accommodation, food and transportation. Your dollars will take you a long way back and forth. It may not have such world-class cuisine as its neighboring countries, but it is not impossible to find culinary delights in many of its cities.

Notably the French cuisine is the most popular among restaurants catering for tourists and lots of delicious Thai and Vietnamese dishes as well. Laotian cuisine should not be missed, as neighboring Thailand is also generous in its portion of curry and fresh ingredients that will leave you wanting more ... that is, if it\'s your type of food.

Must be careful with how much money you take with you. ATMs are not readily available outside of Laos\' biggest cities. Credit will not help you either since it is only accepted by a small number of companies. If you have some Thai baht back from a Thailand visit, spend it in Laos because it is very welcome.

You are most likely to land in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Do not hurry to the next more exotic city because Vientiane is a gem waiting to be discovered. It is a quaint and charming city that has exquisite temples and stupas. Note the remarkable influence of the French in this city\'s architecture and cuisine. Take a leisurely stroll along the well laid out streets in Vientiane.

From Vientiane, continue to Luang Prabang along the banks of the Mekong River. It is a picturesque and colorful city with the many orange-robed monks and countless temples that adorn the city.

Do not miss an exciting river cruise that takes you to an adventurous trip that will showcase the picturesque montage of local life along the riverbank.

Do not miss the Nam Ha protected area located in northern Laos. For a more exciting way to travel to the Nam Ha, take a short detour to the town of Luang Namtha and take a boat trip to the Nam Ha. This will allow you to catch a glimpse of many birds, and reptiles along the banks of the river and surrounded by a thick jungle of blooming flora and fauna.

Nam Ha Protected Site offers numerous opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts eager for some adventure. Trekking is best in this area with its exciting terrain, abundant wildlife and breathtaking panoramas. Along the way, watch out for small waterfalls where you can rest your feet and cool off in the crystal clear waters. Notice where you are going and follow your guide\'s instructions on safe and unsafe areas to the letter. UXOs or small bombs are still present in some areas, so be sure not to remove them.

Other exciting destinations in Laos include Vieng Xai with its many large caves, Hongsa with their beautifully preserved architecture and Wat Phu Champasak, with its 7 century Khmer temple comple

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Travel to Laos with Viajes Laos Agents

Many visitors to South East Asia miss Laos out in favor of the more widespread locations of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Viajes Laos (http://www.laosviajes.net) suggests the travel destinations in Laos.

It may be true that traveling to Laos is nothing lower than an endurance test – however a ravishing, unspoiled wildlife and a sprinkling of beautiful temples ought to make the trip value it. With its exciting terrain, properly preserved natural ecosystems and numerous waterways, Laos is now emerging as a premier outdoor journey destination on this part of Asia.

VientianeVientiane, Laos

Top of the line things about Viajes Laos (http://www.laosviajes.net), other than its rugged beauty and natural sights, is the low cost of accommodation, food and transportation. Your dollars will take you a good distance back and forth. It may not have such world-class cuisine as its neighboring countries, however it is not unattainable to seek out culinary delights in a lot of its cities.

Notably the French delicacies is the most well-liked amongst eating places catering for vacationers and many scrumptious Thai and Vietnamese dishes as well. Laotian cuisine should not be missed, as neighboring Thailand can also be generous in its portion of curry and recent substances that can depart you wanting more… that’s, if it is your type of food.

Should be cautious with how a lot money you are taking with you. ATMs usually are not available exterior of Laos’ biggest cities. Credit score will not show you how to both since it is only accepted by a small number of companies. You probably have some Thai baht back from a Thailand go to, spend it in Laos as a result of it is vitally welcome.

You might be probably to land in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Don’t hurry to the subsequent extra unique city because Vientiane is a gem ready to be discovered. It is a quaint and charming metropolis that has exquisite temples and stupas. Note the outstanding affect of the French on this city’s architecture and cuisine. Take a leisurely stroll along the well laid out streets in Vientiane.

From Vientiane, continue to Luang Prabang alongside the banks of the Mekong River. It’s a picturesque and colourful city with the numerous orange-robed monks and countless temples that adorn the city.

Luang Prabang, LaosLuang Prabang, Laos

Don’t miss a thrilling river cruise that takes you to an adventurous journey that can showcase the picturesque montage of native life alongside the riverbank.

Don’t miss the Nam Ha protected area located in northern Laos. For a more thrilling option to Viajes Laos, take a brief detour to the town of Luang Namtha and take a ship trip to the Nam Ha. This may will let you catch a glimpse of many birds, and reptiles alongside the banks of the river and surrounded by a thick jungle of blooming flora and fauna.

Nam Ha Protected Website offers numerous alternatives for out of doors fanatics longing for some adventure. Trekking is greatest on this area with its exciting terrain, considerable wildlife and breathtaking panoramas. Along the way in which, watch out for small waterfalls where you’ll be able to relaxation your feet and funky off in the crystal clear waters. Notice the place you’re going and comply with your guide’s directions on safe and unsafe areas to the letter. UXOs or small bombs are still present in some areas, so be certain to not take away them.