Cost of living in Laos

The following are estimates of how much things cost in Laos. The cost of living in Laos depends on where you live. The following prices are in Lao kip and also USD and reflect the cost of living in Vientiane only. Things will be cheaper in a small town and villages throughout the country.

Renting a house or an apartment
House rental rates vary so much in Laos. It depends on what you want. It costs between USD100 to 2000 and up per month. The $100 would be a single room without any furniture. The more expensive rate is usually a big house with 3 or 4 bedrooms or more and a garden. The fact you can find a room or house lower than $100, it all depends on location and the quality of the house or room. If you want to seek out where you should find a place to rent here’s a list of the agencies you can contact:

2.Tou Tou's House for Rent
Tel: 020 5522142, 5100408, 7718417. Email:
3. LFT Consulting Co; Ltd. Real Estate Services
Tel: 021-244435, Fax 021-244436, mobile 020-5718893.,"
4. Ourdalee's house renting service
Tel 0205 512 502, 0205 511791, 0205 659 146. Email:"
Vientiane Property Service: 020 5599900, 5619160,
* Apartments for rent: 020 5023782,
* Houses and home advisor: 020 5519152
* Peter's Rent-a-House: 0205-526 525 or

The following are the estimated prices only and the prices can be much more or less depending on where you eat. Eating house: they usually offer many kinds of dishes, such as pho (beef noodle) and should cost between USD 1.5 to 2. The Prices are the same for fried rice, rice with chicken or pork, and there are still many others with this same price tag. There is delicious French bread here and it should cost about USD 2 for a French bread sandwich with tuna fish. Or there are meat, cheese and other you can choose. The prices are about the same or a bit more or less depending on what you what sandwich you want. If you buy only bread then the cost should be about 3000 kip (USD 0.5) per big loaf in street markets but it’s more expensive if you buy in the supermarket or tourist areas.

There are many restaurants in Laos, especially in tourist areas. There are Italian restaurants, French restaurants, Indian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, etc. You can expect to pay about 20000 to 70000 kip per portion in nice restaurants. There are buffet restaurants, too, and the price is between 35000 kip to 150000 kip, depending where you want to go. There is no pizza hut or KFC here but Thai Pizza Company is going to open the branch here.

Drinking water
3000 kip for a small bottle and 5000 kip for a big bottle

Soft drink
5000 – 8000 kip (less than $1) for a can, 8000- 10,000 kip($1 and a bit more ) for a small bottle, 12,000 – 15,000 kip($1.5- $2) for a medium one and 18,000- 20,000 kip ($2 – $2.5)for a bit one

Lao Beer
6000 kip(a bit less than $ 1) per can and 8000 kip(about $1) for a big bottle, up to 10,000 to 15,000 kip for a big bottle if you order in a restaurant or a bar

Local brands around 5000 kip, Marlboro about 10,000 to 12,000 kip

Cost of Utilities in Laos:
It’s about $ 10 – 15 per month for electricity and $ 5-10 for water, this can be greatly or less depending on how much you use. If you use air condition often you expect to pay $ 50 and up per month. It’s pretty cheap compare to other countries.

T-shirt and shirt cost about $5-$10, jeans about $10 - $15, sandals are $8 to $10

Local bus: these are very cheap, about 2000 – 5000 kip anywhere in the city but bus here is not convenient, usually only local use this kind of buses, I seldom see foreigners in these buses.

Taxi: majority in the airport, they charge $ 6 dollars from airport to anywhere in the city. There are not many taxis in the city. They usually use Tuk-tuk .

Tuk-tuk: it’s mainly use, the cost vary from the distance you go, they can charge you around $2- $5 depending on your destination but be careful many people get scam from those tuk-tuk driver they charge you over price so better discuss the price before you go with them. You can bargain if you think that their charge is so ridiculous.

Laos tourism
Laos work visa
Hotels in Vangvieng
Laos news
Laos beef noodle soup
Laos Airlines
Laos visa
Laos tourist visa
Luang Prabang first class flight
Laos tours Luang Prabang itinerary
H1N1 cases in Laos
Introduction to Laos


  1. Thank U Nok. This very helpful. It is important for foreign visitors who want to stay longer in Laos to know someone who can act as translator for them. It is important to have direct communication with locals, to avoid misunderstandings or cultural conflict or for just getting around. It is important for me to have a place to stay where it is peaceful and safe. Food is cheap all over the world. But eating healthy and avoiding waterborn or foodborn deaseses is always a concern for foreigners who have little or no immmunity to local bacteria. Mosquitos are of major concern. They feast upon foreigners, while leaving most locals pertty much alone . . . . . Air-Con is also important to most foreigners. What do U suggest here?

  2. I will answer your post a bit later, I am in the hospital now

  3. I disagree that food is cheap all over the world. In many Asian countries western food products are very expensive. But then again, why eat western food instead of local fare. Still, many tourists shy away from local food dishes which is a shame as Lao food is very tasty and healthy.
    Avoiding waterborn or foodborn deseases: It's best not to swim in rivers. Most tourist guides on Laos make that very clear. As for foodborn deseases, eat only fresh dishes and stay away from buffets or cafeterias where food has been cooked a while ago. This not only goes for Laos but for any country. Food that's been out in the open, without refrigeration, is always risky. A good way to eat fruit is to give it a squirt of lemon juice as that usually prevents one from getting diarreah.
    Air-cons: Well, that's simple. If you think a floor fan, ceiling fan or wall fan won't do the trick, stay at places that provide air-cons. Do make sure that the filter is clean, though, or you'll be breathing cool air with dust particles.
    Mosquitoes really don't know the difference between locals and foreigners. Bright clothing and the use of perfume or scented soaps do attract mosquitoes, though. Mosquitoes aren't really a problem during the day. They're most active during twilight and at night. If you are outside during these times, wear long sleeved clothes, long pants and socks and shoes. Applying anti-bug lotion also helps but it'll need to be applied like every 20 to 30 minutes. Most people tend to ignore that. It's basically the same wit sun screen. It needs to be applied every 20 to 30 minutes. Again, most people don't re-apply.

  4. You have to be careful with food. Don't eat food that is not fresh. The food is cheap in Laos but I don't think it's cheap all over the world. Laos is quiet peaceful, it's not difficult to find a peaceful and safe place to stay.

    You have to be careful with Mosquitoes. Avoiding a little dark or dark place. If you have anti mosquito lotion would be good, apply them!. I do that also when I go out in the dark place but inside the house is no problem as my house has the net on the doors and windows so we are safe inside

  5. Laos is full of beautiful rivers, are we really not supposed to swim in any of them?

  6. Perhaps this is a good reason NOT to:

    Aside from this, it's strictly illegal for foreigners AND locals, not to cross the Mekong river and end up in Thailand.

    I think swimming in any river in Laos carry too many risks. TINY scratches make GREAT entrances for these parasites so it's fair to say that the risk factor outweighs the fun factor.

  7. Aside from this, it's strictly illegal for foreigers AND locals, not to cross the Mekong river and end up in Thailand.

    Sorry, I meant....illegal to cross the Mekong river and end up in Thailand...or Vietnam, for that matter.

  8. Thanks for the news, now i know what i can do before traveling to Laos

  9. Maybe I can choose the single room without any furniture, I will gonna but furniture 1 by 1.

    Deirdre G

  10. Thank you for this helpful blog. Since I like Laos and I'd like to find job in a western restaurant as cook or pizza maker in Vientiane, I'd like to ask if this could be possible and which could be the average salary of a western cook. Thanks.

    Guy M