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laos

laos

Laos is one of the world's few remaining communist states and is one of east Asia's poorest countries. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 it has struggled to find its position within a changing political and economic landscape.

Communist forces overthrew the monarchy in 1975, heralding years of isolation. Laos began opening up to the world in the 1990s, but despite tentative reforms, it remains poor and dependent on international donations.

Traditionally, the Lao are largely Theravada Buddhists and believe that there is no point in becoming too excited about anything, because one’s lot is totally ruled by kamma, a force over which one has no control.

Our featured luxury hideaway in Laos is Amantaka in Luang Parbang.  The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name and, until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The old town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main part of the city consists of four main roads on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. The city is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries. Every morning, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the streets collecting alms. One of the major landmarks in the city is a large steep hill on which sits Wat Chom Si.

Weather & Seasons

Laos enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round. The cooler, drier months of the year are from November to March; however, temperatures rarely drop below 22°C during the day. Humidity is highest between May and September, when sunbursts follow tropical downpours and temperatures can climb to 35°C. However, the average year-round temperature is a pleasant 25°C.

Visas

Visa conditions change regularly. For the most up to date information, contact the nearest Lao Embassy or Consulate.  You can get a visa on arrival for around US$35 or Thai Baht 1,500.00. You will need one passport photo. Alternatively, you can get a visa by contacting the Lao Embassy in London. Or if you are in the region, you can get a long-stay visa from the Lao Embassy in Bangkok or Hanoi.

When you enter Laos, make sure you get an entry stamp in your passport. Not having a legitimate entry stamp could lead to arrest or a large fine.

Getting here

14 hour international flight (via Bangkok) to Luang Prabang International Airport.

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amantaka

amantaka


luang prabang, laos   

Amantaka sits on a peninsula framed by the mighty Mekong and Khan Rivers, and is surrounded by lush green countryside, spectacular waterfalls and ancient caves. It's within walking distance of the picturesque temples, villages and night markets of Luang Prabang.

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Kathryn Brierley, Director

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Kathryn Brierley, Director

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