Posted by: adventuressetravels | July 10, 2012

Visa to Laos


I hate red tape and have what borders on a phobia of paperwork, bureaucracy, and exclusivist entry requirements.  To make things worse there are different rules and entry requirements for every country.   Even more frustrating is that these requirements seem to constantly change.

What countries do you need visas to?  How much are they?  Do you have to have one in advance or can you get it at the border?  Sometimes the government’s own websites aren’t even up to date!

Many companies will tell travelers that they need their visas before they leave the United States.  However, this is not necessarily true.  Countries have vastly differing visa entry requirements and many of these visa agencies are willing to bend the truth just want to make money on travelers.

A friend of mine told me that her tour agent pressured her and her husband into getting visas for Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam before she left the United States.  When she told me that they had paid hundreds of dollars for each visa I could hardly believe it.

If you want to travel to Laos you are able to get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival.  Travelers do need to have two passport-sized photos and a passport valid for six-months after the date of entry.  The fee for US citizens and the citizens of most European countries is $35 USD, and dollars are the preferred method of payment, rather than the Laos currency, Kip.

          For Canadians the fee is $42 USD

          For France and Germany the fee is $30

          Swiss citizens can travel in Laos for free for up to 14 days

          There is a fee of $10 for every day travelers overstay their visa.

          The benefit of getting a visa abroad is that Laos issues 60-day tourist visas at embassies abroad.

Crossing the border from Chiang Khong, Thailand to Huay Xai, Laos crossing the Mekong by ferry you reach the immigration office immediately.  Grab a visa form and an entry form and fill them out.   Then elbow your way through the disorganized mass of tourists and hand the visa form to the officer along with your passport-sized photo and visa fees as well as the entry form.  Somehow even with a veritable mob of people trying to get their visa the processing went fairly quickly and within 15 minutes I had my visa and entry stamp.

Remember not to spend all of your money before you leave Laos.  There is also an exit fee of 2,500 kip, or about .50 USD.


  1. That “exit fee” is a new one on me. Unattractive or disappointing countries could profit by charging tourists to escape.

  2. […] Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: India, Laos, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam, Visas « Visa to Laos […]

  3. […] […]

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