Lao Kip (K) is the official currency. Though Kip is the only currency for everyday transaction, in reality three currencies are used: Kip, Thai baht (B) and US dollars (US$).
Major credit cards are accepted in the more upmarket hotels and restaurants only in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Several banks will also offer a cash advance on credit cards for a commission.
ATM: There are many ATMs in Vientiane, and they have also appeared in other major cities including Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Savannekhet, Tha Khaek, Pakse and Luang Namtha. 2. SHOPPING
You can find handicrafts, textiles and gold, silver jewellery as souvenirs in Laos. In big cities like Vientiane and Luang Prabang, there is a wide range of local products from around the country but local markets and minority villages are a good place to shop at bargain prices. 3. TIPPING
Tipping is not customary in Laos but it is appreciated in a country where average annual income is quite low. 4. FOOD & WATER
Like Thai food, Lao food is simple, fresh and flavoursome. Sticky rice rather than steamed rice is the main dish in daily meal in Laos.
International cuisine is also popular in most major cities and tourist hot spots. 5. CLOTHING
The dress code is fairly casual in the country. Visitors should not wear shorts, short skirts or other revealing clothing when visiting pagodas, temples and monasteries. Shoes must be removed before entering some religious building or a private home. 6. INTERNET
Internet cafes are available in the major towns and are becoming increasingly common in places frequented by backpackers. High-speed connection is only available in places such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang. In Vientiane the best streets to head to for fast internet connection and internet cafes with Skype and air-conditioning are Th Samsenthai and Th Setthathriat. Wi-Fi is increasingly available in many Western orientated bars and cafes 7. WORKING HOURS
- Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1300/1400-1600.
- Banking hours: Mon-Fri 0830-1600.
Some banks remain open during lunch. 8. ELETRICITY
Laos uses 220V. A mixture of flat and round 2-pin outlets are used throughout the country. It is advisable to bring an international travel adaptor.
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