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Tips to travel to Laos on a budget

Laos is recognized as one of the poorest countries with low GDP in Asia, but traveling to this country is not as cheap as the rest of Indochina. There are not many consumer goods produced in Laos and exports can be expensive. Follow these tips to have unforgettable trip to the land of a million elephants with a tight pocket.

Tip 1: What to eat?

Eating local food on the street or buying food at the market can cost less than $ 5.00 per day. While health codes are basically non – existent, look for the cleanest place you can find, where hot food are prepared in front of you. Moreover, in order to minimize the risk of disease, remember not to sit under the sun. It is necessary to bargain to have the most suitable price, especially if you buy more than one item.

Street food in Laos

Tip 2: How to commute?  

Meanwhile taxies charge with meters and certainly not a good option for sightseeing, it is highly recommended to walk when you can, especially in the morning and after the sun goes down. When you are in a city, rent a bicycle which is charged between $ 1 and $ 2 per day. While many of the roads are unpaved and bumpy, driving on two wheels is still a great way to enjoy the slow pace of Laotian life. Tuk tuk is also the other common way for visitors to choose, and they are expected to pay for each destination with negotiable prices before taking a ride.  

If you are going to travel a long distance, local buses are cheaper than VIP buses. Night buses can be luxurious and charming and they are suitable for those who wish to save their night’s lodging. Booking directly from the bus station will be the better way, compared to the reservation made through your guest house. Having a sit at the back of a pick-up truck or delivery vehicle can offer you an interesting experience to savor the pristine landscape and the local life at the very cheap price.               

Flying through Laos is not as cheap as in other parts of Southeast Asia. There are regional budget airlines flying throughout the country but they are often on limited schedules.

Tuk Tuk in Laos

Tip 3: Where to stay?

Accommodation can be a very expensive part of traveling. Search hostels and guest houses for cheap rooms in advance, but don’t expect the least expensive option to be published online. The best way to find a cheap room is to ask the local about the city once you arrive. If you are a single man, you can try your luck in a monastery. The monks often receive male travelers in exchange for some community services or English classes. Moreover, there is a variety of homestays in Laos that you can select, depending on your interests and budget. Make sure to reserve your accommodation from 30-60 days in advance to take advantage of the best promotions on offer.

Homestay with paddy-field view

Tip 4: Where to go? 

It is difficult not to increase the budget when it is in the center of the bustling capital city of Vientiane or the opulence of the former royal capital of Luang Prabang. Minimize your time in these cities that deplete your wallets (or ignore them completely) and concentrate on smaller cities and towns, where the landscape still reserve its pristine beauty. Instead of the Vientiane, Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang route, it is worth to visit Champasak, Pakse and Thakek in the south or Luang Namtha, Phongsali and Sam Neua in the north.



Tip 5: When is the best time to visit? 

Accommodation, attractions and transportation prices increase dramatically during the high season from November to February. If you are willing to enjoy the rainy mood in the afternoon, traveling from July to October will save you a lot of money, and the attractions will be more enjoyable without crowds. However, keep in mind to bring a poncho and shoes that can help you pass through the puddles.  While prices are also low in the warm season from March to June, carefully consider your tolerance to the heat. There are some lovely celebrations in that period of time that you can attend, including Pi Mai or Laotian New Year, Visakha Puja Festival and Boun Bang Fai… 

Laotian New Year

Tip 6: What to do?  

One of the best features of Laos is its incomparable natural beauty. While the most popular temples, waterfalls and caves have entry prices, there are literally hundreds of others that are free or require a nominal fee within the budget of any traveler. Additionally, choose a region to explore and live as a local, since once you’ve been in a place for a few days, locals will recognize you and probably invite you to eat and drink with them, hang out in their favorite places and maybe even attend a ceremony or wedding with them.  

Last but not least: Travel economically with Asia Eyes Travel… 

In Asia Eyes Travel, we offer customized trips to our hundreds of clients who come to Asia every year, all with a reasonable and flexible price. If you wish to have the best experience at the best price or the trip that can be adjusted to your pocket as traveling to Laos, don’t hesitate to contact us!


Why book with us?

  • Best price guaranteed
  • Close and continuous attention throughout the trip
  • Exclusive trips and made to the letter so that nothing is missing
  • Local agency with a professional and accessible team


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