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Laos

Last update 13 July 2018Diplomatic missions

Risk index

Level 1: Without special recommendations

1

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Regular passport: visa not required

Diplomatic passport: visa not required

Official passport: visa not required

Lao People's Democratic Republic

 

The Republic of Bulgaria does not have an embassy in the capital city of Vientiane. The Bulgarian Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, is accredited to Laos.

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Hanoi
Address: №5 Nui Truc str., Van Phuc Hanoi, P.O.Box 10
Tel.: +844 3845 2908
Fax: +844 3846 0856
Official hours of the Consular Office: Mon - Fri, 9 -12 h
Е-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.mfa.bg/embassies/vietnam

The Embassy of Laos in Vienna is accredited to Bulgaria.

Embassy of Lao People's Democratic Republic in Vienna
Address: 1030 Wien, Neulinggasse 29 /Top 6
Tel.: +43 1 890 2319 11; +43 1 890 2319 13
Fax: +43 1 890 2319 15; +43 1 890 2319 18
Office hours: 09:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 16:00 h
E-mail: [email protected]

General information

general information

Local currency

The local currency is Kip.

Crime Level and Security

Overall, there is an increased security risk outside the big cities. Crime, especially in Vientiane, Luan Praban and Van Vieng, is starting to take on violent forms and is constantly growing. Street muggings and bag-snatchings are common. Tourists are often served drinks laced with drugs, and after intoxication the victims are robbed. There is a hotline available to citizens 24 hours a day in the capital city of Vientiane in case of traffic or other accidents: +856 21 21 27 03.

The condition of roads in the country is poor. Often there is no street lighting. Drink-driving is common practice. You are therefore strongly encouraged to drive only in the daylight hours.

Unexploded mines are an additional security threat, mainly in Xieng Kuang Province and along the border with Vietnam. Drive in strict compliance with road markings and road signs.

Customs Regulations

The import of local currency is prohibited. Unlimited amounts in foreign currency may be brought into the country, but if the amount exceeds 10 thousand US dollars, the money should be declared. You are advised to carry small sums in U.S. dollars and travellers' checks or credit cards; please note that these are only accepted in major hotels and restaurants. There are no ATMs in the country. Almost all banks in the capital city provide Western Union services HERE.

You are allowed to bring into the country any goods for personal use, including up to 1.5 litres of alcohol and one carton of cigarettes.

The export of local currency is prohibited. Foreign currency can be exported in unlimited amounts.

The export of souvenirs depicting Buddha is prohibited. To export antiques, you must provide a permit from the Department of Cultural and Historical Heritage in Vientiane.

Local Laws

Beware! The import and export of any sort of drugs and narcotic substances, as well as possessing and selling them during your stay in Laos, will be severely punished and can lead to your arrest and a severe sentence of imprisonment. If the case involves hard drugs /including their intentional use/ you could be sentenced to life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

Please note that in Laos the cohabitation without marriage of a foreigner and a local woman is punishable under local law and can attract a fine of up to USD 5,000. Sexual abuse of minors is prosecuted. Homosexuality is not illegal as such, but is not well received by the local population.

Always carry your passport on you; otherwise you may be heavily fined.

Taking photographs of military installations is prohibited. Photographing religious sites and ceremonies is not prohibited, but it should be done with the prior consent of the participants.

Road Travel

Due to the poor condition of the roads, it is advisable to use air transport, and, whenever possible, the services of foreign airlines. It is common practice in the country when a traffic accident involves a foreigner for him or her to be automatically ordered to pay damages, regardless of whose fault the accident was.

Using the so-called "speed boats" is risky.

Health

The state of healthcare facilities and medical care does not meet Western standards. Before travelling, you are strongly advised to have taken out health insurance. In Laos, dengue fever/an acute infectious disease spread by mosquitoes/ is very common, and not only during the rainy season. AIDS is an increasingly serious problem for the country. Gastrointestinal diseases are commonplace.

Climate

There are no distinct seasons in Laos. The only changes in weather are alternating rainy and dry periods. The hot and humid monsoon period lasts from May to November. From December to February the weather is dry and moderately hot. It is particularly hot during March and April.

Travel papers and visas

You must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of travel. Bulgarian citizens can be issued with a tourist visa at border crossing points.

On entry, there are no special vaccine requirements, unless you are planning a visit an area affected by yellow fever. You are advised to have basic vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and B, and typhus.

For further information please contact the Bulgarian National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases at: 02,944-69-99/221.

Practical advice

Before travelling to Laos, we recommend that you inform the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via email, supplying your name, length of stay in the country, estimated route, and your mobile phone number.

The fine for overstaying your visa is U.S. $ 10 per day.

Please avoid major physical strain during the period of adaptation.

Make sure you drink enough water during the hot period.

Avoid fatty foods as much as possible. Alcohol causes an extra strain on the body.

Be meticulous about your personal hygiene. Use caution when eating fresh fruit and vegetables.

Only use bottled water both for drinking and cleaning your teeth.

Carry any essential medicines that you may need.

Travel with Children

It is recommended that children travel on their own passports.

Competitive service

 

Legalisation and certification

To be valid in Bulgaria and be used with Bulgarian institutions, any documents issued to Bulgarian citizens by the competent authorities of Laos should have the stamp of the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Then the documents will need to be certified by the Laos Embassy in Vienna or in Hanoi.

The Consular Office of the Embassy of Bulgaria in Vienna or in Hanoi will certify the stamp of the respective Lao Embassy.

The documents must then be translated into Bulgarian by an authorised translation agency in Bulgaria, and the translation must be certified by the Certifications and Legalisations Department of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Documents issued in Bulgaria to be used in Laos must bear the stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, which is first certified by the Bulgarian Embassy in Vienna, and then by the Lao Embassy in Vienna.

Emergency Travel Document

In emergencies, if their passport gets damaged, lost or stolen, Bulgarian citizens can apply for a temporary EU passport to the Embassy of any EU Member State in Laos.

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