Many Lao dishes are accompanied by the staple ‘sticky rice’, a glutinous form of rice that can be easily rolled into small balls. Diners typically eat sticky rice with their hands, breaking off small pieces to be eaten along with mouthfuls of the main dish. Diners should place the lid on the sticky rice basket to indicate they have finished eating.
The French colonists left their mark and fresh baguettes are still widely available on most street corners. Visitors can buy a plain baguette or sit at a street stall and eat a Laos-style baguette sandwich, which includes salad and meat pâté. Baguettes are eaten with your hands. If you dine at a French restaurant in Luang Prabang, you will be given western utensils to eat with.
Traditional restaurants offer floor mats for diners to sit on, with food being served on small tables known as ka toke. Today, diners commonly sit at small plastic tables and chairs. If you are invited to eat at someone’s home, expect there to be twice as much food as is likely to be consumed.
Coffee is commonly consumed throughout the day and is served in a glass and followed by a glass of green tea.
Visa and Passports
As visa stipulations are subject to frequent changes, visitors are advised to check with their nearest Lao embassy before travel for up to date information.
Tourist visas for periods of 5, 15 and 30 days are available and can be obtained in advance of travel. Alternatively, 15-day tourist visas are available on arrival at Luang Prabang International Airport and at some border points. Visitors wanting to obtain a visa on arrival must supply a passport-sized photograph and the required payment in US dollars or Thai baht. Long-stay visas are available for nationals of some countries.
As you enter Laos, you will receive an entry stamp in your passport specifying the date your visa expires. All passports must have a minimum validity of six months upon entry, or entry may be refused. UK nationals wanting to apply for a visa in advance need to submit an application to the Lao embassy in Paris, France as there is no Lao embassy in the UK.
Tourist Information Offices
The headquarters of Lao National Tourism Authority is at: 3556, Lan Xang avenue, Hatsady Village, Chanthabouly district, Vientiane. Phone: +856 21 212248, +856 21 212251; website: www.tourismlaos.gov.la.
There is no official tourist information office in Luang Prabang, but you will find that many travel agencies and hotels can provide useful tourist information. Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13| 14 | 15 | 16 |