Lao Peoples Democratic Republic
The average temperature in Laos is around 29°C although in the cooler months, temperatures can drop to around 15-20°C. It has a tropical monsoon climate with its rainy season spanning from May to October. The dry season can be subdivided into two categories: cool, dry season which spans from November to February and then hot, dry season which lasts from March to April.
High Season in Laos tends to be from November to March when the temperatures are more agreeable and prices rise accordingly during this period. July and August can be quite wet with high humidity but the landscape becomes especially verdant during this time. From April to June and September and October are low season months. April and May are especially hot, this is when temperatures are most likely to reach 40°C and September and October can be incredibly wet.
Like its neighbours Cambodia and Thailand, Theravada Buddhism is the dominant form of religion in Laos and has a significant influence in the Lao culture, playing a role in its language, art, literature and performing arts.
It is a country that has managed to retain its authenticity and traditions, more so than some of its neighbours which are becoming increasingly modernised and succumbing to western influences to various extents.
The staple food in Laos is steamed sticky rice which is thought to have originated in Laos. The Lao people are the largest consumers of sticky rice in the world Galangal (comparable to ginger), lemongrass and padaek (fermented fish sauce) are all important ingredients in Lao cuisine.
Most of the towns and cities in Laos are easy to discover by foot but taxis and tuk-tuks are available for those who prefer not to walk.
Often called “minivans”, songthaew means “two rows” in Thai. They are a kind of pickup trucks but with a roof with bench seats in the back. This is a very local and authentic way to travel short distances in Laos and the most economic way as well.
Lao Airlines offers domestic flights and will get you anywhere within 40 minutes to destinations that would take a bus twelve hours to reach. Downside? It is costly, as the airline’s routes are near-monopolized. The popular Vientiane-Luan Prabange flight costs around 200 USD one-way.
By Hop-on-hop-off buses
Stray Travel offers a guided hop-on-hop-off bus that covers the length of the entire country. The first and only of its kind in all of Southeast Asia!