Getting there: Getting there: Fly into Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport (VTE), Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) or Pakse International Airport (PKZ) on direct flights only from Asia. Take the train in from Thailand or cross the border by vehicle.
Capital city: Vientiane.
Population: 6.931 million.
Religion: Theravada Buddhism.
Currency: Lao kip (LKP).
Climate: A tropical monsoon climate, with a definitely rainy season from May to October, a cool and dry season from November to February, and a hot dry season in March and April.
Transport: The bus network is not that comfortable, extensive, frequent or reliable and is very crowded. Songthaews (converted pick-up trucks) replace bus services in rural areas. Ferry boats and water taxis ply the many waterways. Jumbos (three wheeler tuk-tuks) and minivans supplement carriage as well. Transport during the wet and muddy conditions of the wet season can be slow and arduous.
Best time to travel: To avoid the downpours during the wet season and the heat of the hot, dry season, November to February (the cool, dry season) is the best time to visit lowland Laos. The daytime temperatures are just pleasantly warm and the evenings can get slightly chilly but the countryside will be lush from the rainy season. The hill regions during these months will be very much cooler, with at times freezing nights.
What to wear: Always dress conservatively and remove footwear when entering homes and temples.