There are four international airports in Laos: Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Luang Prabang International Airport, Savannakhet International Airport and Pakse International Airport, all conveniently located near the cities' downtown area.
More than 60% of the total national roads are classified as in poor condition. However, this has been improving in the last few years particularly in and around major cities and tourism attractions.
Rail transport does not play a significant part in Laos's transport sector, since the country largely lacks the required infrastructure. This is bound to change once the 414 km China-Laos Railway project is completed by the end of 2021.
The official currency is the Lao Kip (LAK) although US dollars are still accepted. In Vientiane and Luang Prabang you can exchange hard currency relatively easily at licensed exchange shops, or in the banks. At the time of publishing the exchange rate is US$ 1 = 9041 LAK.
Credit cards are normally not accepted outside the better hotels and a select group of shops in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, so make sure you have a supply of cash with you. ATM machines can be found in the capital as well as other cities like Luang Prabang or Pakse (subject to transaction fees).
Lao is the official language and English is increasingly spoken in the tourist hotspots. Laotian is written in the Lao script, derived from the Khmer alphabet, and similar to Thai.
Tipping is not customary in Laos, although many restaurant and hotel workers will be appreciative of a small bonus. In restaurants, 10% of the bill will suffice, when a service charge hasn't already been added.
It is advisable not to drink water from the tap unless it is boiled properly.
Free WIFI is available in many guesthouses, hotels, restaurants and cafes. SIM cards ara availabe at the airports and stores throughout major cities. There are 4 main to providers: Unitel, Laotel, Beeline, and ETL. Unitel has much better 3G coverage with its ability to receive waves even on some remote mountain roads. International call to most countries cost about 2000K to 4000K per minute.