Laos is a country in Southeast Asia . It is bordered to the east by Vietnam , on the north by China and Myanmar to the west of Thailand and the south of Cambodia . Although the country is under Communist rule, it gradually opens to the west and the market economy.
While Thailand is an amazingly busy (“Amazing Thailand”), as Vietnam, the temples of Cambodia as impressive, and the military government in Burma (Myanmar) is perceived as brutal, the adjective for Laos can just “forget” to be. The state tourism authority calls the country “Jewel of the Mekong” (jewel of the Mekong) and agree for once you have all the official scorers. There are no outstanding attractions discouraged in the mountainous country and the visa costs (?) – Currently around 30 USD (in 2010) – one or the other tourists from visiting. Intrepid tourists still wear the quiet life. There are several on the world’s unique attractions in Laos, but many are only accessible with some amount of time. Impatience is out of place in Laos. Laos lives on the merits of eco-tourism (in addition to agriculture). The country presents itself outside of urban centers in an incredible originality and naturalness. There are no major road projects, no highways, no industry, no rail (except for the connection Nong Khai-Vientiane), no skyscrapers, no ambition more to build new settlements and the country will be presented in a green originality, from one end of the horizon extends to the other!
Between Vientiane and Nong Khai ( Thailand ) is the first ‘friendship bridge’ across the Mekong, and the second ‘Friendship Bridge’ connects Mukdahan in Thailand since early 2007, with Savannakhet in Laos. “Visa on arrival” for 30 days, 1,500 baht or about U.S. $ 30. (That’s why USD necessarily have at hand. Emergency can simply buy in a Thai bank in Nong Khai at a fair price.)
In the Lao Embassy in Berlin, you can apply for a 1 month visa for 40.00 EUR (as of 08/09). Visas can also be requested by mail (registered letter with passport photo with two applications, check / money order), the processing will take approximately 1-2 weeks. There is an embassy in Bangkok and a consulate in Khon Kaen (Thailand). A tourist visa for 30 days you get for around $ 30 at the airports of Vientiane, Pakse and Luang Prabang. The visa for Laos is now available on the border with Cambodia. Who here uses the land must obtain a visa beforehand. Swiss citizens are from 1 September 2009, for stays up to 14 days, no visa.
As usual in Asia, rice and pasta are important staple foods, but you get too many French baguette as a holdover from the colonial period. The Lao people love soup (Fo) as well as breakfast, they will together with salad, lemon balm and eventually served watercress. A specialty in Luang Prabang are dried river algae leaves, which are pressed with sesame, garlic and dried tomatoes and crispy fried in a pan. At the market you can find anything: bats, snakes, rats and the like, but also more conventional (in the Western sense) pork, chicken, beef and fish. Lao coffee is very tasty!
In Laos, there is in almost every village the opportunity to get an accommodation. It is, however, the more remote the location of the tourist centers, the more often the Spartan comfort. The price for a decent double room is usually not more than 10 dollars for two people, rather below it. (Summer 2006) in the larger cities such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang, there are now also very nice and comfortable hotels. The room rates here are at about $ 30 for a double room and 60 USD and can be more – depending on how much comfort and wants to Western standards. (As of 2010).