Laos PDR

Working Holiday

Thai Airways

In late January 1998, I flew to Laos for 8 weeks work in the capital, Vientiane. The flight was about 24hrs (Adelaide - Sydney - Bangkok - Vientiane).

The Country

Laos is land locked, being surrounded by Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. Its main water-way is the Mekong which flows past Vientiane. This city looks quite pretty when seen from the air.


This is one country that is hard to get a daily weather forecast. It's best to watch TV and add a few degrees to the Bangkok forecast - watch the clouds coming down from China and North Vietnam as they may bring thunder- storms. You'll need an umbrella all year as they are handy sun shades during the dry season.

View from inside That Luang - Vientiane

Laos has a monsoonal climate with three overlapping seasons. The rainy season extends for 5 months, May-September. In October, rain starts to taper off and the cool season begins, lasting through January. March and April are hot and humid. In April, the hottest month, temperatures in Vientiane range between 72-93F (22-34C), and in January, the coolest month, between 57-83F (14-28C). Temperature extremes of 103F (42C) in April and 39F (3C) in January have been recorded.

While I was in Vientiane, the weather remained hot, dry and dusty. In Mid March the temperatures did soar to 40+C. Another weather effect to blame on El Nino.


Laos Hotel Link
Hotel Day Inn - Vientiane

The Day Inn is where I stayed while working in Vientiane during Feb/Mar 1998. It is on the same block as the Lao Plaza, in the heart of Vientiane. Long term accommodation was priced at US$20 without breakfast. Some of the other hotels through in breakfast for US$1 extra or less. This was good accommodation with double bed, ensuite, aircon, fridge and Satellite TV.


Nam Pu (fountain) 1998

All Restaurant food in Laos is well priced - watch for places charging in US$ you may be charged the Kip equivalent at the current buy US$ rate. Here are some of the eating spots that I visited (favourites = *).

Nam Pu (fountain - pictured at left), La Terrace*, Le Provencal*, Lao Residence (Tamnak Lao), Lane Xang Hotel, Tai-Pan Hotel, Lao Plaza, Le Bayou, Hotel Day Inn, Sweet Home Bakery, Nazim's* (alongside the river), Just For Fun*, Kilometre 14 Fish Restaurant (or Tangsin Fish Farm), Ha-wai, The Taj, Nazim's (by the Australian Embassy), Kilometre 4 Restaurant (beside the Mekong)

Scandinavian Bakery

Scandinavian Bakery* & La Provencal* opposite Nam Pu (pictured at right), The Xang*, etc.

They are almost all within walking Distance of the Lao Plaza and Day Inn.


Lonely Planet Home Page
Bangkok Post - English Language Newspaper
Google / Laos / Travel and Tourism
Yahoo Search


Vat Sisaket - Birdman

Laos has an embassy in Canberra (tel 02-6286 6933) but you may find the best option is to obtain a visa on arrival, either at Vientiane's Wattay airport or, if arriving by land from Thailand, at the Australian built Friendship Bridge over the Mekong. The visa costs $US50.

This is just a glimpse of Laos. Follow the links to explore more.

Pay 2000 Kip to set the birds free at Vat Sisaket (pictured)