Travel Alert

Travel Alert for Laos expanded to cover Road 13 between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng

Lao Travel Alert Map
Lao Travel Alert Map

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to a series of recent shooting attacks along Road 13, a major thoroughfare connecting Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng, two of Laos’ most popular tourist destinations. The Embassy has prohibited official travel on Road 13 from Km 220 north of Kasi in Vientiane province to Km 270 at the Phou Khoun junction in Luang Prabang province (see map) because of the unpredictable nature of the violence and the lack of official information regarding possible motives or a Lao government response. The attacks have killed one and injured nine. The attacks are occurring simultaneously with the ongoing violence in Xaisomboun province, which prompted the Embassy to restrict all official travel to that province as well. This Travel Alert supersedes the February 11, 2016 Travel Alert concerning Xaisomboun province and it expires on May 30, 2016.

Five occupants of a public bus and a pickup truck were injured when gunfire targeted the vehicles on Road 13 on March 1. A similar shooting attack targeted a tourist bus on this same stretch of roadway on January 14. It injured at least one passenger. A separate recent shooting in the same area killed one person and injured three.

In Xaisomboun, two roadside attacks occurred in late January 2016, killing three people and injuring a fourth. They involved the detonation of improvised explosive devices. The attacks came after a series of shooting attacks in November and December 2015 that prompted the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane to restrict official travel to Xaisomboun Province.

The Embassy still permits its personnel travelling between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng to travel on the “new road” west of Road 13, between Kasi and Luang Prabang, and along Road 13 from Kasi all the way south to Vientiane. U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Laos should take precautions, remain vigilant about their personal security, and be alert to local security developments.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Laos, located at Thadeua Road Km 9, Ban Somvang Tai, Hatsayfong District, at +856-21-48-7000, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. weekdays, excluding U.S. and Lao holidays. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is also +856-21-48-7000. Non-emergency services are provided by appointment only.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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