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Visa to Laos

Visitors to Lao PDR can now get a visa on arrival for 30 days, up from 15 days previously, the Laotian Foreign Ministry has announced. They can also get an extension of stay of this visa.

The updated regulation will play a major role in helping boost visitor arrivals to Lao PDR, already one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in ASEAN.

Lao PDR reported 1.09 million arrivals in 2005, up 22% over 2004. Of those, 60% were Thais, comprising the largest market share of arrivals.

The vast majority of international visitors to Lao PDR come via Thailand, either over the Thai Lao Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai or by air via Bangkok to the international airports at Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

The extended Visa regulations will be of considerable benefit for business travellers as well as special interest visitors on study tours.

They also harmonise the length of stay eligibility period for 30 days which is granted if the visas are applied for in advance at any of the Lao PDR diplomatic missions abroad.

The visa fee remains unchanged at US$30, except for Vietnamese and Chinese nationals who pay US$20.

Lao PDR has 12 international checkpoints, including three airports and nine overland crossings, of which four are with Thailand.

Overland travel from Thailand to Lao PDR will get another boost in December 2006 with the projected opening of the second bridge between the two countries. Construction of the bridge, linking Mukdaharn province in northeastern Thailand to Lao PDR’s southern province of Suvannakhet, began in December, 2003. The US$69 million bridge was partly financed by the Japanese government.

Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand

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