CAN I TRAVEL TO LAOS?
WE MISS YOU, LAOS. Here's what we know at the moment!
Updated March 24th, 2022
Can I travel to Laos?
Sadly, Laos is not open to tourists at the moment... so travelling to Laos is a no-go right now. The government of the Lao PDR has suspended the visa on arrival service at all international entry points. No visas are being issued to people travelling from a country with cases of COVID-19 (so basically anywhere... including the UK). However, the Lao authorities may consider granting special entry permission for foreigners (e.g. experts, technicians and foreign nationals that are needed for essential projects) who wish to come to Laos.
Entry requirements for Laos:
Can I enter Laos if I am fully vaccinated?
Whether you are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, the rules are the same. Whatever your vaccination status, British nationals are not able to travel to Laos unless you have an exemption.
Can I enter Laos if I am unvaccinated/not-fully vaccinated?
Whether you are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or not vaccinated at all, the rules are the same.
Do I need a negative test to enter Laos?
Yes. If you do manage to get a visa for Laos, these are the rules:
- all foreigners must present a Certificate of Entry (issued by the MFA); a completed Health Declaration form; and a ‘Fit to Fly’ Certificate issued no more than 72 hours prior to travel. To do this, you should arrange to take a private test and you must test negative.
- all arrivals must take a COVID-19 test on arrival at their own expense.
Do I need a vaccine to enter Laos?
Currently, no travellers are allowed to enter Laos whether they are vaccinated or not.
Do I need to quarantine when entering Laos?
If you are allowed to enter Laos because you are a British national with an exception, you will have to quarantine for 14 days at designated locations (with all expenses covered by individuals or their organisations/companies).
Do I need to quarantine when returning to the UK if I'm fully vaccinated?
If you're returning to the UK, there are literally no more travel restrictions on arrival so that's definitely good news. The UK government have removed all the entry requirements so that you no longer need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel to the UK from abroad, you don't need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive and there is NO quarantine when you arrive back into the UK.
Do I need to quarantine when returning to the UK if I'm not fully vaccinated?
The easing of restrictions when entering the UK applies whether you are vaccinated or not.... YES! The dream, gone are the days of expensive and annoying tests!
Laos has done a phenomenal job at keeping COVID out of the country. With an extremely low number of cases compared to most other countries, Laos is probably one of the safest countries you could travel to (if you were allowed to…). Laos has made it pretty clear that it won’t be accepting tourists at the moment, so it's safe to say that for now Laos is going to have to wait...but we can only hope that will change soon! Keep your eye on this space ;)
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT LAOS?
Laos weather is pretty straightforward! The dry season runs from November to April and the wet season from May till October. Expect on average, 30 degrees ALL year-round. Not too shabby aye? Laos may be one of the most underrated countries in SouthEast Asia. With year-round festivities, you're bound to experience some sick activities going on regardless of when you visit!
You crave adventure, you want to get off the beaten track, you need some inspiration - look no further TruFam. We're answering your questions. What is there to do in Laos? Where should you visit in Laos? We've got loads of recommendations for ya!
Ever wanted to spend your day floating away in a doughnut shaped rubber ring? Well duh. So, YOU HAVE TO VISIT NAM SONG RIVER. Grab your rubber ring, and let's go! A must-do in Laos. This backpacker tubing route is what put Vang Vieng on the map for backpackers and convinced us we have to go here! A mixture of scenic valleys and a few floating bars along the way are calling to us to visit. We live and breathe adventure AND beer so pretty much it's the perfect combo. Plus you'll get super cool and edgy for the gram. If it's not on your bucket list. Water you doing? ;)
Do you need 4000 reasons to visit 4000 Islands? No, you just need 1 - IT'S INSANE! The backpacker hub of Laos, there are a million and 1 things to do, visit Vat Phou, an Angkor Wat style temple which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stock at Khone Phapheng, the largest waterfall by volume in Southeast Asia. Best you didn't know Laos had that? God, we're full of surprises. All that before you even reach 4000 Islands! Head to Don Det, it's THE place to be in 4000 Islands. Kayak, swim whatever you fancy doing there's something for you. The 4000 Islands is the last remaining location of the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins in the world. If you want to see the super cute Beluga type dolphins in the wild, you can go dolphin spotting! No guarantees you'll see them, but they really are incredible animals, and we would love to see them from afar thriving in the wild. Happy & healthy!
Try the food. Every. Last. Bite
Calories don't count in Laos, right? Maybe we made that up. But we live by it. Lao-ries are half the amount than they are anywhere in the world. Ok again, we made that up, but why travel all the way here without trying everything in their fantastic cuisine? For a light snack try Kaipen, dried river weed from the Mekong, that sounds gross, but with a little dip in the fryer, a few sesame seeds and some thin tomato slices and you've got yourself a tasty little snack! Not sold? We got you. Try Laos dips with sticky rice. Did you know Laos produces the most sticky rice in the world? WELL, IT MUST BE GOOD THEN! Sit back with a glass of wine if you're fancy or just straight up Beer Lao and indulge in a blast of tastes when you dip your sticky rice in traditional Laos dips. A great starter, a winner winner overall. Grab a baguette Pate, a crispy rice salad or even Phor (Laos's noodle soup) for lunch. Whatever you choose, expect your taste buds to be thanking you afterwards. You're welcome.
Now we've got a plan, some places to go and a huge fat marker pen ready to tick off that massive bucket list we wrote at the start of lockdown. The question really is, when? Hey, don't worry, we want to know too! Keep up to date with all our When Can I Travel? page and we'll keep you in the loop on everything border/travel restriction related.
In the words of High School Musical
‘We’re all in this together’
Ok that was cringe, but as always TruFam,