FAQs: Discover Laos


What we will be discovering in Laos?

In a nutshell, a country that is still mostly way below the tourist radar, with a rich diversity of fascinating cultures, pristine forests, the mighty Mekong River, and a refreshingly slow pace of life– even in the capital city, Vientiane. Our trip takes you to the renowned highlights of Laos, like the gorgeous UNESCO Heritage town of Luang Prabang , and way beyond them, to hidden places that very few people ever visit. It’s a unique itinerary that no other company is offering. Discover it before everyone else does!


Where does the trip start and end?

We start in Pakse, in the south of Laos, and end in the magical royal city of Luang Prabang in the north.


How do I get to Pakse, and home from Luang Prabang?

You can fly to directly to Pakse from Bangkok, Thailand or from Siem Reap, Cambodia. If you are already in Laos, you can fly there from Vientiane, or, if you are feeling very adventurous, take the overnight sleeper bus! Returning from Luang Prabang, there are direct flights to Hanoi, Vietnam, Bangkok, Thailand and Siem Reap, Cambodia.


What are the physical activities on the trip and what level of fitness do I need?

A reasonable level of fitness is required. We will be doing some gentle paddling on the Mekong, going on fantastic hikes that we will pace to the needs of the group, cycling on flat terrain, and, as a possible option, riding on the neck of an elephant.


What is Lao food like?

Hugely diverse! The French colonized Laos, so during the trip you’ll enjoy great baguettes and pastries and good coffee, as well as some truly fine dining and good wines. You’ll also sample traditional Lao food – a variation on Thai and Vietnamese cuisine - spiced to your liking. And in some places we visit you can also find good Western food.


I’m a vegetarian, is that a problem?

Not at all, but please let us know in advance, and advise us on what you can’t eat.


Do I need a visa?

You will be issued with a visa on arrival at the airport. The cost is US$35 for US and European citizens and US$42 for Canadian citizens, payable in US cash only. Please make sure you have two passport photos with you. (If you forget, you will simply charged extra.)


Do I need any special insurance?

Medical insurance, including emergency evacuation, is mandatory on all our trips. We also strongly advise you to purchase trip cancellation insurance.


Do I need vaccinations?

Your routine vaccinations (tetanus/diphtheria, polio, etc.) must be up to date. Another general precaution for travelers anywhere in the world is a hepatitis A and possibly a typhoid vaccination.


What about malarial medication?

The areas we visit are fairly low risk for malaria. However, as there is presence of dengue fever (transmitted by mosquitoes) in Laos, it is advisable to opt for transmission protection (long sleeves/trousers, and regular applications of DEET insect repellent). Sensible precautions should ensure you do not get bitten. If you do decide to opt for malarial medication, we advise you to use Docxycline, however you should consult your local travel clinic or physician.


What does the trip price cover?

Airport transfers on the first and last days of the trip, all cultural tour guiding and entrance fees, all accommodation and meals.


What does the trip price not cover?

International and domestic flights, airport transfers not on the first or last days of the trip, alcoholic drinks, personal insurance and gratuities.


How can I access cash when I’m on the trip?

ATMs are readily available in Pakse, Vientiane and Luang Prabang.


What clothes and equipment will I need?

When you sign up for the trip, we will provide you with a comprehensive clothes and equipment list.


I’m travelling alone, is that a problem?

Absolutely not. We have many guests who travel with us on their own. They appreciate the camaraderie of our Hidden Places groups , and usually go home with new-found friends.


Hidden Places Travel
Box 318, 185-911 Yates Street
Victoria, BC, Canada V8V 4Y9
Phone: 1 250 589 9844 / 580 3480
Toll Free: 1 877 830 8747
info@hiddenplaces.net