New to Laos ?
Check out the different advises in the text below.
What to bring with you and what not:
To Bring, any time of the year:
1) Sturdy shoes or boots, for walking and trekking.
2) A SMALL, extra, back-pack, for day trips.
3) A GOOD flashlight + extra batteries.
4) Mosquito Spray.
5) Pipe tobacco and/or Rolling Paper, if you are so inclined.
During Rainy Season (May to October)
1) Lightweight Rain Clothes and an Umbrella.
2) If you go up north: a Sweater (it can get very cold at nights).
What NOT to Bring:
1) Cigarettes (Dirt Cheap, from 5 - 15 US$ per Carton, depending on Brand).
2) Any kind of alcohol, also quite cheap (cheaper than European Duty-Free Shops !!!)
3) Money: EURO (OK, you will get decent exchange rates in Banks; ANYWHERE else, such as Hotels, Guest Houses and Restaurants, up to 15 % LOWER than Banks.
Credit Cards will be charged an extra 3%, for the Bank's commission, and most small places will not take them. Lao KIP, US$ and Thai Baht can be used anywhere. Beware though, that some up-scale Hotels, Guest Houses and Restaurants will quote you in US dollars and can give you up to 7-8% lower exchange rate, when they convert their bill into KIP or Baht.
Also, KIP can not be exchanged outside of Laos.