Tips and recommendations for healthy travel to top destinations
Learn more about your flu vaccine options
Learn more about the travel visa requirements for top destinations
The natural beauty of Laos is unparalleled. Although the country is often overshadowed by tourist-laden Thailand, it offers no lack of must-see sights.
From dense, lavish forests and limestone caves to jungle rivers and windy mountain roads, Laos is a paradise. Whether travelers are exploring the Nam Ha national protected area or traversing the infamous Mekong River there is adventure at every turn.
But, Laos is more than just the outdoors. With well developed cities and wonderful eateries, there is an option for every traveler.
Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Laos. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Laos:
Mosquito-borne diseases are a serious problem in Laos. Travelers should consider brining antimalarials as well as mosquito repellents and netting. Zika, dengue and chikungunya are also present in Laos.
Although there is no risk of yellow fever in Laos, the government requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the U.S.
To find out more about these vaccines, see our vaccinations page. Ready to travel safely? Book your appointment either call or book online now.
A cholera vaccine should be considered along with the other suggested vaccines. Although cholera is not common in Laos, it can spread through contaminated food or water.
Risk of contracting cholera increases after heavy rains or in areas with poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water. Going during a drier time of the year can reduce the risk of contracting cholera.
The most reliable protection against cholera is through vaccination. Passport Health clinics carry Vaxchora, a single-dose cholera vaccination which helps to provide protection.
Unless travelers hold a passport from Japan or another ASEAN state, a visa is required to enter Laos. Travelers should consider getting their visa before arrival to avoid any potential problems.
The export of local currency is not permitted and if travelers are carrying more than $2,500 USD, they must declare so.
For more information, see our Laos visa page. Or contact a Passport Health Passport and Visa specialist by calling 1-844-366-8472 or by filling out our online form.
Laos has a tropical climate characterized by regular monsoon activity. Monsoons are most common during the rainy season from March through October, but varies based on locale.
Most of Laos sees a considerable amount of sun and heavy rainfall which can lead to uncomfortable amounts of humidity. But, mountainous regions have cooler and more temperate weather year-round.
In recent decades, Laos has been regarded as an extremely safe place to travel. The locals are generally warm and welcoming in all parts of the country.
Although serious crime has dropped off, petty crimes such as theft still occur. Be sure to remain aware of your surroundings at all times.
Travel by vehicle throughout the country is quite safe. Roads are well built and cars for the most part are reliable. Locals in the cities should be able to provide travel advice for roads during your travel.
Laos boasts a large selection of unique cuisine. Most of this food is unfamiliar to the American palate, including Sai Uah (sausage) and Larb (a minced meat salad).
While most of these Asian delicacies are okay for consumption, take notice of how and where they are cooked. Diseases such as cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid spread in contaminated food and water.
Delicious-smelling street food, where meats are often cooked in the open-air, can be tempting. But, research which eateries are known for delivering high-quality options.
Laos is known for hundreds of years of ancient Buddhist traditions. Along the Mekong, one of the most infamous rivers in all Asia, lie the Pak Ou Caves. These Buddha caves, known as Tham Phun and Tham Ting, are accessible only by boat. The caves are carved into the side of large rock figures and are a unique way to discover of the rich religious history of Laos.
For the best possible stay in Laos and to prepare yourself for anything unexpected weather-wise, add these items to your packing checklist:
It is good to know exactly where the U.S. embassy or consulates are located when traveling. Keep the address written down in case you have a legal problem, you lose your passport, or you want to report a crime. Keep a copy of your passport with you in case you lose the original.
If you plan to buy a local SIM card you can also enter your phone number to receive SMS updates from the office.
U.S. Embassy Vientiane
Ban Somvang Thai
Thadeua Road, Km 9
For emergencies: 011-856-21-487-000 from the U.S. or 021-487-000 from Laos
Visit the Embassy to Laos website before departure to confirm correct contact details for the office.
Still have questions? Schedule an appointment by calling or booking online now.
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