Getting to Laos
Direct flights from USA, Europe or some other parts of the world to Laos do not exist. However, there are flights into Laos from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, China and Cambodia.
The country’s flag carrier Lao Airlines offers direct international services to Vietnam, Thailand, China and Cambodia. It also operates domestic services to 10 domestic destinations. Lao Air is another airline located in Vientiane that operates schedules and charter services in the country not served by Lao Airlines.
Airlines serving Asia to Vientiane route include:
-Air Asia (Kuala Lumpur)
-China Eastern Airlines (Kunming, Nanning)
-China Southern Airlines (Guang Zhou)
-Lao Airlines (Siem Reap, Kunming, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Bangkok)
-Thai Airways International (Bangkok)
-Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Phnom Penh)
Airlines serving Asia to Luang Prabang route include:
-Bangkok Airways (Bangkok)
-Lao Airlines (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Udon Thani)
-Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi, Siem Reap)
Airline Serving Asia to Pakse route includes:
-Lao Airlines (Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap)
Laos has three international airports namely, Vientiane Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport and Pakse International Airport. Among the three international airports only Wattay International Airport has a runway with over 2,438 m length.
Dong Calor/Veun Kham border connects Cambodia to Champasack Province in Laos. However pre- visa arrangement is need.
Going to China to Laos is possible using overland border crossing in Mohan- Botene, Yunnan to Luang Namtha Province.
Entering Laos from Thailand is possible at Nong Khai/Vientiane, over the Friendship Bridge; Mukdahan/ Savannakhet, over the Second Friendship Bridge; and Chong Mek/ Ban Mai Sing Amphon. There are other two friendship bridges under construction that will connect Thailand and Laos the 3rd friendship bridge in Nakhon Phanom/ Tha Khaek and the 4th friendship bridge in Chiang Khong/Huay Xai border. Foreigners can also use Tha Li/ Nam Hueng which can be reached via Loei on the Thai side stretching 378 km of dirt road from Luang Prabang or the Bueng Kan/Paksan border. Take note, that some border crossings do not issue visa on arrival.
Da Nang/Lao Bao is the main border crossing between Laos and Vietnam; it connects the Centre Vietnam and Savannakhet Province of Laos. Other border crossings are Cau Treo/Kaew Neua connects the province of Ha Tinh to Bolikhamxay Province; Nam Meo/Sam Neua in Thanh Hoa Province; Nam Can/ Nam Khang border; Po Y Border in Kon Tum Province to Attapeu; and Tay Trang/Sobhoun Phong Xa Ly District in Luang Prabang. Take note that visa on arrival is not available to all border crossings.
The Nong Khai to Tha Naleng is the first link across the Mekong River that connects Laos to Thailand. Two shuttle services per direction per day are also available, with one timed to connect to the sleeper trains to/from Bangkok. Visa on arrival is also available when crossing the border by train.
Entering Laos by slow ferry or speed boat is possible by crossing Chiang Khong in Thailand via border town of Huay Xai downstream the Mekong River to Luang Prabang.
Entering Laos from Kunming or Xishuangbanna China is also possible by boat through on Mekong River straight south to Xieng Kok Riverport in Luang Namtha Province.
One can also enter Laos from Cambodia by river crossing at Koh Chheauteal Thom to Voen Kham in Laos.
It is advisable to get a pre-arrange visa before crossing the border by boats.