The country code for Laos is 856. When calling to Laos from overseas, dial your international access code (011 from the U.S./Canada) followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Laos are 8 digits in length. Dialing from the U.S./Canada: 011 856 ## ### ###.
When paying with US dollars it is important to note that change may be given in the local currency. For initial convenience we recommend you bring some US dollars with you from home. It is advisable to bring newer US notes that are in good condition as some merchants will not accept those that are tattered and/or old. ATMs are the most convenient way to change money in Laos. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can also exchange US dollars into the local currency. In Laos the local currency is the Laos Kip. 1 Lao Kip = 100 att
● Banknotes: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 & 50,000 Kip
Please note: US Dollars are accepted throughout the country as means of payment. For the most current exchange rates, please go to our Web site at www.globusfamily.com/currency.
Major credit cards are widely accepted (mostly Visa & MasterCard) but some shops and restaurants require a minimum purchase amount when using them (so they are not appropriate for incidentals such as ice creams, snacks, etc.). You might consider bringing more than one card, as some outlets may not accept all types. Due to increasing credit card fraud worldwide, be prepared to show identification (i.e. your passport or driver’s license) when making a transaction with your credit card. If you use a credit card for your purchase, most transactions will be debited in the local currency, and your bank will establish the rate of exchange on the debit.
Budgeting and Shopping
The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel. The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is US $2. An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately US $10. A steak dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately US $20. Shopping Prices are as marked in department stores, though in Asia it is customary to barter. Start negotiating with an offer at one-third or half the vendor’s initial price. Please be warned that if you buy items on tour to be shipped to your home, customs import charges are hardly ever included in the price. Sales tax or G ST (Goods & Services Tax) is normally already included on price tags; G ST refunds, if applicable, are processed at the departing airport from the relevant country.
We recommend leaving 10% of the restaurant bill as tip. A service charge may already be added to the bill, but an additional tip left in cash is recommended to ensure the tip gets to the wait staff.
- For a taxi, pre-negotiate the price before getting in and then add $1 to the fare as tip.
- Tip hotel staff $1 for room and bar service.
Laos’ summers are hot and experience the most rainfall. Winters are generally mild, dry, and the best time to travel to Laos. Rain gear is recommended year-round. To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Luang Prabang.
Voltage for outlets is 230V. North American voltage is generally 110V. Therefore, a converter may be necessary for your travels. Check the back of each charger carefully as some new electronics already have this built in. In these cases adapters may be necessary to adapt your plug into the outlet but not convert the voltage. You may encounter different plugs, as shown below, but some hotels have combination outlets that accept several different types of plugs.
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