What the internet is like in Laos?


I am going up to Laos in July, entering via Chiang Khong/Huay Xai and driving to Luang Namtha before heading south to Luang Prabang/Vientiane and then south to Cambodia on Hwy 13. Taking my own car so can stop where i want.

Anyone know what the internet is like in the cities i will pass thru? Is there Wifi like in Thailand and Cambodia?

Can anyone buy a sim card and use it like u can in Thailand and Cambodia (pre paid)?

Do they have ones that will allow you to connect to the internet? I know the speed will be poor but i need only be able to get and send emails and such.


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Mar 06, 2012
The internet in Laos
by: D.Phothisane

Hello Richard,

Thanks for dropping by.
The internet is available in most towns/cities in Laos. In Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Champasak and other touristy towns, wifi is available in most restaurants and hotels.

In other places less frequented by tourists there might be limit number of places that offer wifi, though there are internet Cafés. You'll be able to use email in those places you plan to pass through. In the internet Cafés the internet speed is quite good in general, but with wifi it can be anything from ok to painfully slow.

Sim Card, yes same as in Thailand, anyone can buy sim cards and use them freely, but that's only until end of April. After April everyone needs to register their sim cards or they can't use them at all. The Lao government is taking precaution to prevent crimes such as call center that has intruded to Laos from neighboring countries.

As a foreigner, you will need to present your passport in order to buy a sim card.

Most (if not all) sim cards allow you to connect to the internet with GPRS, and 3G sim cards are also available. so... you can be sure that you won't be isolated from the rest of the world when you come to Laos.

Hope this helps.

Apr 20, 2012
Internet service in Lao PDR
by: Anony in VTE

You will find numerous cafes and the like with wifi and ADSL service in principal cities. However, it is the power that is like a yoyo here, and when that goes down, it takes all else with it. The grid here is being taxed and is not keeping pace with the growth, and therefore expect that when you find a connection (cafe or wifi) that it won't work, or if it does, it won't last too long.

And you're taking your own car, through Lao? Be sure your spare tires are well inflated, carry extra torch lights, and what ever pace you planned on pursuing, halve that. The roads here are, for the most part, in a state of disrepair. The going is very slow, to be safe. Would recommend against night time travel between cities, also. Cheers...

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