Laos 2014 

overland laos


  • Days: 14 days
  • Period: from the 23rd of October untill the 5th of November
  • Weather:  Warm (about 30 degrees) and very humid especially in the north. The first days in the north we even had a few heavy showers. Most days it was dry. Camping in this climate however was hard. Due to the rains there were many landslides on some mountain roads in the north.


General information:

  • Currency: Kip

  • Internet: wi-fi available in many hotels and restaurants

  • ATM's: ATM's for visa every town

  • Creditcards: Accepted in most larger hotels and restaurants. We only paid cash.

  • Safety: Laos feels like a very safe country. We bushcamped in public places several times and nobody ever bothered us.


Prices (per November 2014)

  • Value Money: €1 = 10.000 Kip

  • Fuel: diesel is 8550 Kip (about € 0,85 per liter) 

  • Camping: There are hardly any campsites in Laos. The places we camped were either bushcamps on public places (which were for free) or on the parking of hostels where we paid 30.000 to 50.000 Kip per night for two people for toilet, shower and wifi.

  • Hotels: In Vientiane we stayed in a hotel opposite the Thai Embassy for 210.000 Kip per night.
  • Prices: In general Laos is not expensive, but when you eat out a lot and take a hotel room more often it does add up.  


  • valid = 30 days, single entry 

  • Visa can be obtained at the border. For the application you need one photo.

  • Price for visa is 37 USD per person (35 USD for the visa and 2 USD costs)


Border crossing

  • Entry: We entered Laos at Boten (coming from China). Entry was easy. Visa was issued at the border and whole procedure took about 45 minutes. At the border you have to pay some small charges for National Treasure Fund (2 USD or 16000 Kip per person) and Chemical spray for the vehicle (20.000 Kip). On the Chinese side of the border there are many money changers where you can get some Kip in advance. Easy to pay for these small costs. Although not obliged they did stamp our Carnet on this border.

  • Exit: We left Laos near Si Phan Don (going to Cambodia). Exit was quick and easy. Costs were 2 USD or 20.000 Kip per person and 5000 Kip for the car. So do not spend all your Kip. Keep some small amounts in your pocket for leaving the country.  

  • Insurance: Can be obtained at the border. We paid 27 USD for one month. Whilst driving through the country the police checked our insurance once. 



  • From Boten to Luang Namtha: Good mountain road. About one hour. 

  • From Luang Namtha to Oudomxay: Good Mountain road. Doable in half a day. 
  • From Oudomxay to Luang Prabang: Mountain road with many curves and bad tarman with huge potholes. About 6 hours drive. Landslide area. We had 4 landslides on this trip. Which means you sometimes have to wait untill the road is cleared.
  • From Luang Prabang to Vientiane: Mountains roads with many curves and some potholes here and there. Landslide area. Drive took us half a day. Tarmac not too bad. 

  • From Vientiane to South tip of Laos: This is the main road. It is all tarmac and in reasonable state.
  • Detour off the main road to Konglor cave: Mainly mountain road with some potholes here and there. Last part to the cave is very scenic. Halfway, on the top of the pass, you definitely have to stap for a great view over the limestone forest (a beautiful karst scenery). 

Fees for Toll roads, briges, tunnels and ferries

  • There were no costs for this. 


Highlights or not

  • Luang Namtha: Nich relaxed village in northern Laos. Many outdoor activities here if you like. Has a backpackers atmosphere.

  • Luang Prabang: For us the best city in Laos. Great place, good restaurants, delicious bakeries, beautiful temples. Very touristic though.

  • Kuang Si waterfalls: Entry fee = 20.000 Kip per person. Very beautiful falls. You are allowed to swim in the clear blue pools. Near the entrance is a sun bear rescue center which you can also visit. 
  • Vientiane: Very easy going capital. Tired of temples we did not do much sightseeing here.

  • Konglor Cave: Huge cave with an underground river of about 7km long. Making a boat trip on this river is a great experience. Entry fee to the cave is 12.000 Kip per person. Costs for the boat = 100.000 Kip per boat (max 3 persons).
  • Si Phan Don: 4000 islands scattered in the Mekong. Should be nice to visit, but nog ideal for overlanders as you cannot bring your car. We did not go there.


  • As Laos was once French you will find many good bakeries in the country and the French baquette is sold in many places. 



Grid: Lat/Lon hddd°mm.mmm"

LA-ATM1 - N21°08.986 E101°40.168
ATM for Visa

LA-BAKERY1 - N19°53.751 E102°08.553
Le Banneton, very good bakery

LA-BAMBOO - N21°00.123 E101°24.573
Luang Namtha, Bamboo Lounge. Nice restaurant run by New Zealanders. Very nice people and great pizza

LA-CA - N13°55.539 E106°01.689
Border between Laos and Cambodia

LA-CAFE - N15°07.442 E105°47.965
Cafe Visa. Good place

LA-CAMP01 - N20°56.815 E101°24.276
Boat landing house. Eco lodge with friendly staff. We camped in front of the lodge. Nice and quiet spot. Payed 120.000 Kip per night for toilet, shower, wifi and breakfast.

LA-CAMP02 - N20°41.387 E101°58.982
Camped on a field at the back of Dansavanh hotel in Oudomxai. Camping, toilet and shower was free. Toilet in the hotel and cold shower in the staff quarters. Free wifi in the lobby.

LA-CAMP03 - N19°52.934 E102°07.651
Bushcamped on a field in Luang Prabang. Safe, quiet but no facilities

LA-CAMP04 - N19°53.552 E102°08.089
Bushcamped on parking in the center of Luang Prabang, near the Mekong. Busy street, but convenient for visiting the town, no facilities

LA-CAMP05 - N19°25.118 E102°25.717
Bushcamped by guesthouse along the way. Very friendly, free use of toilet, not costs. Amazing view from the terrace. You must see this.

LA-CAMP06 - N17°57.869 E102°37.519
Good hotel in Vientiane, opposite the Thai consulate. 210.000 Kip per night for a room with airco, wifi and breakfast.

LA-CAMP07 - N17°57.570 E104°45.234
Bushcamped near entrance of Konglor Cave. Were allowed free use of toilet and bucket shower at the restaurant near the entrance. Parking with shadow here.

LA-CAMP08 - N17°23.839 E104°49.549
Camped at Thakhek travel lodge. For 50.000 Kip (the price of a dorm) we used toilet and shower. Place has wifi and a campfire every evening.

LA-CAMP09 - N15°07.398 E105°48.127
Camped at Saibaidy2 guesthouse in Paske. Parking fits only 3 cars. For 30.000 Kip (price of a dorm) we used toilet and shower (incl. Towels). Place is backpackers spot. Place has wifi.

LA-CHAIDEE - N16°33.482 E104°44.988
Cafe Chaidee. Serves good food

LA-CONSUL - N17°57.897 E102°37.476
Thai consulate for visa application in Vientiane

LA-GREASE - N21°00.007 E101°24.594
Oil and greasing axels

LA-INTHIRA - N17°23.718 E104°48.263
Inthira restaurant. Serves very good burgers (also vegetarian)

LA-KUANGSI - N19°45.093 E101°59.798
Kuang Si waterfalls and bear rescue center

LA-LAUNDRY - N20°41.290 E101°59.191
Laundry. 16000 Kip per kg

LA-MARKT1 - N20°41.396 E101°58.771
Market with Fruit and vegetables in Oudomxai

LA-MARKT2 - N17°24.229 E104°48.032
Market with Fruit and vegetables in Thakhek

LA-SDA - N17°58.114 E102°37.399
SDA church in Vientiane

LA-TOYOTA1 - N19°54.298 E102°09.854
Toyota garage in Luang Prabang. Very good service.

LA-TOYOTA2 - N17°59.090 E102°33.135
Toyota garage

LA-TOYOTA3 - N16°35.438 E104°45.948
Toyota garage Savannakhet

LA-TOYOTA4 - N15°06.551 E105°50.544
Toyota dealer Pakse

LA-WATER1 - N19°52.009 E102°07.863
Drinking water factory. Filled up the car here.