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LUXE City Guides - Cambodia and Laos - - Laos – Luang Prabang & Vientiane -

Nov-mar is best, pack a cardie, it can get nippy; Apr is hot and hazy thanks to field burn­ing and the Mekong runs dry; and Jun-oct is wet mon­soon, but very lush Awkphansaa fes­ti­val in Oct marks the end of Bud­dhist lent – the town lights up in colours and pro­ces­sions Laos New Year (Boun Pi Mai) in mid-apr is a wa­ter fes­ti­val en­thu­si­as­ti­cally cel­e­brated in Luang Pra­bang, pre­pare to get wet – wa­ter­proof mascara is in or­der Visa upon ar­rival – US$30-41 de­pend­ing on na­tion­al­ity, payable in cash, US$, and bring a pass­port photo Luang Pra­bang Int’l Air­port to town, book trans­fers via your ho­tel, or else use a van ser­vice: 15 mins / US$6 English is not widely spo­ken and ser­vice is well mean­ing but un­cer­tain, so pa­tience is a must The ad­dress “sys­tem” is mean­ing­less to vis­i­tors, and street names are too, so land­marks are of­ten used Get around us­ing tuk-tuks or on your own two legs Med­i­cal ser­vices are ex­tremely lim­ited. En­sure you have medi­vac in­sur­ance, as you’ll be taken to Bangkok Legally, ID is re­quired to be car­ried at all times Kip is the lo­cal cur­rency, but you can pay in US$ or Thai baht and re­ceive change in kip, but note that worn bills will usu­ally not be ac­cepted There are now ATMS and ex­change booths all over Laos, so bring for­eign cur­rency with you, though note US$, euro and Thai baht are the most ac­cepted Cash is king. Carry plenty of small notes; the few places that ac­cept credit cards add a 3-4% fee Only Mastercard, Mae­stro and JCB will do, thank you Open­ing times can be flex­i­ble, go with the flow... Dress mod­estly when vis­it­ing pago­das and watch­ing monks, no bare shoul­ders or Kylie hot pants, and wear shoes that can be eas­ily re­moved In emer­gen­cies, con­tact your em­bassy (see V. Use­ful) Coun­try code is +856, lo­cal calls 071 for Luang Pra­bang, 021 for Vi­en­tiane and 020 for mo­biles

Three phrases that will be of use...

Sabai dee : Hello Bo pen nyang : No wor­ries, any­time Khop jai : Thanks, pop­pet Al­righty, take a chill pill...

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