A botanical park in Luang Prabang reveals how plants are used in everyday life in LaosRead more
Wednesday Night, J&C Services Celebrated our 10th anniversary surrounded by over 150 guests on the grounds of the J&C office compound. We are exceptionally proud of the services we have been offering expatriates in Laos for the past decade.
J&C Services is a fast growing business continuously searching for better and more unique products for our clients. At the beginning of this year, we expanded our activities to include a marketing department.
Vientiane residents are being advised to store sufficient water for household use as the capital’s water treatment plants struggle to process the increasingly turbid water sourced from the swollen Mekong River.Read more
Domestic and foreign investors will be granted a number of tax breaks under a new amended decree related to specific and special economic zones (SEZs) issued recently by the government.Read more
The new Thai visa restriction is creating difficulties for many foreigners living in Laos, who rely on medical and commercial services across the border.
This week J&C Services went to the Thai Consulate in Vientiane to find out more about the 6-Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa with the following result:
It’s a well known fact that Laos has one of the world lowest electricity rates. However, there is always a lot of talk about ‘foreigner rates’ for residential power and water supplies. So is there a special rate for expats ? The answers may indeed surprise some people.
It turns out that residential properties, businesses, industry and embassies are charged at …….
The deadline for 2018 road tax payments is June 30 this year.
The finance ministry warned that those failing to pay by the deadline would be fined 40 percent of their obligated road tax rates.
Planning a move abroad is a significant undertaking that requires a great deal of thoughtful consideration.
To make sure nothing is forgotten before your move abroad, we have prepared an expatriate checklist to help you get organised. Prepare your move abroad with a minimum of fuss and tick off each item to make sure you’re ready for the …..
LOCA is an application that provides on-demand transportation similar to two worldwide applications called UBER and GRAB. LOCA represents the revolution of transport in Laos since LOCA is the first company to introduce a transport application that is convenient and cashless for the country.Read more
During its annual agent meeting & celebration, Lanexang Assurance awarded J&C Services for their outstanding performance in 2017.
Stephan R. Aeschbach, owner of J&C Services, proudly accepted the award. “We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our performance” said Mr. Aeschbach, “we truly believe that providing a valuable service to our customers begins with creating a trusted partnership with our providers.”
If something does happen to your car, there is as yet no roadside assistance in Laos. In the event of such a problem many expatriates do not know who to call. One option is to call an English speaking mechanic. Some of them are hereRead more
We are offering the highest and best coverage for cars & motorbikes in Laos ! No other Lao insurance company provides such exceptional coverage !
And we offer the most competitive premiums !
Our motor insurance covers:
– Comprehensive Coverage (damage to your own car, theft, fire, glass) up to the insured value
– Driver & Passenger Coverage
– Third Party Coverage (among others, bodily injury Kip 1’100 Mio per accident, medical expenses up to Kip 18 Mio and material damage up to Kip 110 Mio)
We can also cover your car against damage, theft and fire when driving in Thailand !
Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has told ethnic Lao living in Australia that the Lao government offers special privileges for people of Lao ethnicity planning to visit and contribute to the development of their motherland.Read more
There are plenty of stories about bad police planting evidence or fake police shaking down the innocent. What to do if someone claiming to be a police officer wants to search your person or belongings?Read more
THAI currency is getting a facelift, with new banknotes to feature the face of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, also known as Rama X.Read more
After a comprehensive global review of all of its medical clinics, the Australian Government has decided to close the Australian Embassy Medical Clinic in Vientiane, in addition to the clinics in Phnom Penh and Yangon.Read more
Authorities have announced that 2018 road tax can now be paid and the Ministry of Finance is calling on vehicle owners to pay their obligations to the nation.Read more
There will be bumps along the way between your visits to the beach, bar and immigration office (sometimes the bumps will be at the beach, bar and immigration office). Expat life is what you make it here in the Land of Smiles. Moaning about it never helps but accepting the bumps is part of the adventure. Here are our Top Ten Hard Truths for expats in Thailand.Read more
As Lao PDR’s economy grows and more companies begin conducting commercial activities here it will become increasingly important for businesses to protect and maintain their competitiveness in the market. A company’s failure to effectively protect its IP or to restrict infringement of its IP can lead to the loss of market share, revenue, reputation, opportunity and competitive advantage.Read more
Running water, its soothing white noise comforts and welcomes. This is the sound that greets customers as they enter the sanctum sanctorum which is the uniqueness of Mango Mania.
Mango Mania is a U-shaped greenhouse that appears more mirage-like than edificial. At the base of the U, framed by two bright red wooden doors reminiscent of …
Vientiane Bus Enterprise launched its commercial operations for the new shuttle bus service to Wattay Airport. The shuttle bus service will be available between Central Bus Station at Talat Sao and Wattay International Airport.Read more
European Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Lao (ECCIL) has published a calendar of holidays in 2018 to help readers get an overview of public and customary holidays in Laos this yearRead more
Citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden will not need a tourist visa if they visit Laos next year after the government waived the requirement in a bid to boost tourist arrivals from the four Scandinavian countries.Read more
The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has warned drone owners to seek permission from the relevant authorities before flying their drones – if not, the owners will face penalties.Read more
There’s something new in Laos. Something unique. Something exciting. It’s good for your health. It’s good for your peace of mind. It could save your life. And it’s brought to you by people who care about all these things: J&C Services – Your Insurance Experts.Read more
One of the most common agreements made in Lao PDR are lease agreements, whether they are for residential accommodation, office or shop space, factory or farm land or any other personal or commercial purposes. However, from time to time, disputes or disagreements may arise from the lease agreement, many of which could have been avoidable through clearly stated terms in a lease contract or a legal review for compliance under Lao PDR law.Read more
As we enter our 10th year, we realize this milestone was made possible by the support of clients, friends, and associates like you. We offer our thanks, and wish you much peace and great joy during this holiday season and throughout the New Year.Read more
As from 1st January 2018, any vehicle crossing into Thailand from Laos that is driven by an individual who is not the vehicle’s owner must provide documentation authorizing use of the vehicle.Read more
On November 7, 2017, the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce issued a formal notice, No.2633/MOIC, to all its offices across the country to fully recognize and abolish the capital requirement foreign owned general businesses.Read more
As in any other country, all vehicles in Laos have to undergo regular inspection to ensure that it conforms to regulations governing safety. Inspections are required every year with the exception for new cars who are good for the first two years.Read more
The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday passed the draft of an amended Law on Lao Citizenship which offers special treatment of qualified and highly-educated foreigners seeking Lao citizenship.Read more
The baci or Sou khuan is a well-known traditional ritual and has a deep meaning for Lao people.
The baci ceremony is reminiscent of Brahmanism and animism. It follows the belief that the human being’s main body parts are inhabited by 32, or even more, spirits. In some circumstances, these spirits may leave the body to wander around and get lost in the universe, thus causing you to become weak and vulnerable to danger.
It’s therefore important to call the missing spirits back, so you can be yourself again. This ceremony is performed on important occasions such as births…..
Road users are now being asked to pay the road tax for 2017 after delays in making changes to the payment system have extended almost to the end of the year.Read more
WIG Laos has announced the Annual WIG Bazaar 2017 will be held on November 11 on the grounds of the Faculty of Engineering of the National University of Laos at Sokpaluang Road, Vientiane.Read more
In southern Laos, there are numerous cycling tours on offer for all levels all year round but winter makes the best time as the weather is dry and the temperature is cooler. It’s an activity we really recommend as it’s an unparalleled way to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.Read more
Thailand is building up to what will be a historic period with final preparations under way for the funeral of the late King. The Royal Cremation Ceremony will be held in Bangkok from October 25-29. It will be a sad time for Thai people, but the country will remain as welcoming as ever for tourists and you will still be able to enjoy your trip. Although there is no need to change travel plans, please be respectful and if you are visiting Bangkok or other areas of Thailand in October, there are some important points to be aware of.Read more
When traveling in Thailand and your car breaks down, you run out of gas or you’re locked out, AXA Roadside Assistance helps make it simple and easy to get back on the road and on your way. This unique service is part of our new auto-insurance policy for Thailand, only available at J&C Services.Read more
The President of Laos, Mr Bounnhang Vorlachit, in an official announcement has informed today about the Road Tax fees for 2018.Read more
Laos, officially Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), issues several types of work visas to foreigners planning to work in the country, based on the type of employment and projects assumed by them.Read more
Lao, also called Laotian, is the official as well as the dominant language in Laos. Migration and conflict have resulted in the present ethnic composition of Laos and to the geographical diffusion of its ethnic groups. 86 languages have so far been documented in the country as used by its various ethnic groups. French and English are identified as minority languages in Laos.Read more
We meet three expats who moved abroad and brought their kids with them. They share the challenges they faced and what they have learned.Read more
For foreigners, driving in Laos can be very different to driving in their home country. Motorbike riders frequently drive on the wrong side of the road and cars do not always respect Lao road rules. Those new to the country will need to take great care to avoid accidents.
If an accident does occur, here are some tips on what to do & not to do:
In line with the policy to adjust the maximum ceiling of the insurable earnings under the National Social Security Fund (“NSSF”) framework at five times the minimum wage set by the Government of Lao PDR and adjusted fromRead more
If you are entering Thailand on a tourist visa, you may be required to show immigration officials 20,000 baht in CASH.Read more
In Laos, food is the most important activity throughout the day. In the local language, it is quite common forRead more
J&C Elite Care offers a comprehensive expat health insurance plan that can be tailored to meet your needs and budget.
Protect you and your family while living and working in Laos !
The Ministry of Finance will start to issue 2017 road tax stickers in August, but vehicle owners will be paying more this year.Read more
Source: William Russell Superbugs may be on the rise, but by taking the right steps you and your family canRead more
WIG Laos’ 11th Annual Photography Competition is back with the theme ‘Laos in Motion’. The competition showcases photographs taken within Laos by Lao and international photographers and photography enthusiasts.Read more
Formerly the Women’s International Group, now WIG, we are a voluntary group of women and men of all nationalities, based in Vientiane, Lao PDR. WIG was founded in 1990 and currently has 100 members (as of Sept 2015).
What we do: …..
In wake of a spate of deaths involving its citizens in Thailand, the British government has issued an advisory guiding relatives on how to go about handling crime-related deaths in the Southeast Asian country.
The advisory provides bereaved families with a general idea of the ….
Before the Lao New Year / Pi Mai holiday police and local security officials are warning the public to be on their guard against opportunist thieves on the streets, vehicle theft and home burglary.
Over Pi Mai Lao burglary is the the major problem while others are bag snatchings, drug abuse and assault.
Last year the police reported that ….
Laos is considered one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to start a business, however there is a basic structure and process to follow. For investors who are new to Laos, finding out what company structures are possible and suitable for your investment can be very confusing. In brief, there are two options for your investment under Lao law: establishing a Representative Office or establishing a Limited Company. Both Representative Office and Limited Company structures have their benefits and advantages, depending on what you intend to achieve in the Lao PDR.Read more
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in cooperation with four other ministries and the Bank of the Lao PDR recently approved a decision on postal service prohibitions.
The decision specifies regulations and measures concerning the prohibition of certain items, to prevent the sending and receiving of illegal goods by mail and ensure that postal operations are ….
Before I left for my first trip to Laos, I was advised by my doctor that I needed a myriad of different vaccinations. My arm was certainly sore after I left the clinic that day! I wondered, of course, were these shots really necessary? Would Laos be a dangerous place teeming with bacteria, viruses and rabid wildlife?
Now that I have the medicine in my veins, it’s too late for me to worry about it, but I wanted to provide newcomers with this information so that they can choose for themselves which vaccinations they really need, and which they don’t.
The following are the recommended vaccinations for a visit to Laos:Read more
Most expats in Asia enjoy an enviable lifestyle however there are things that can go wrong and sometimes these can have serious consequences. Over the years advising and helping expats with their financial planning we have heard our share of horror stories, as well as plenty little tips that make have made life better for people from all over the world living in Asia.
So, in the interest of sharing situations to be ….
There are always a large volume of rental houses targeted at any one time in Vientiane. The difficulty lies in separating quality homes from those which are clearly substandard. I estimate that only around 25% of rental properties available at any one time are of sufficient standard to house expatriates. Short supply of livable properties creates high and fast-paced competition amongst potential tenants.
Even more it’s important for an Expat to understand the mechanics of the Lao Real Estate market.
First of all let me start with the agents: …..
Several years ago, the Lao government introduced a policy to reward qualified foreign expatriates in Laos with citizenship if they so desired. Laos also gives family books and ID cards to foreigners who do not want to denounce their original citizenship.
Over the years, a number of foreign expatriates in Laos have requested and been granted citizenship on submission of …..
There is always much confusion among foreigners living in Laos about the required licenses to drive.
So what kinds of licenses are needed to drive in Laos ? These are the three possibilities to legally drive a vehicle in Laos:
The Ministry of Finance is informing all vehicle owners that the Road Tax Sticker for 2016 is now available and that it needs to be purchased for all vehicles. The sticker is valid for the calendar year 2016. Further a penalty of 10% per month for purchasing the sticker after 31st May is imposed.
In general, the sticker costs ….
As of yesterday Vientiane has its first real supermarket – Rimping !
Rimping Supermarket, located at the View Mall (which itself is still under construction) is a “upper-end” supermarket, maybe best compared to “Jason Supermarket” in Singapore or “Foodland” in Thailand.
“We are a little different to other supermarkets” says Rimping and after visiting their new branch in ……
Tired of the heavy wooden “Chinese” furniture ? Want something new, more modern, stylish and comfortable ?
Expats in Vientiane are now offered a wide range of styles and tastes from traditional to contemporary. Furniture selections include bedroom furniture, living room furniture, dining furniture and occasional furniture.
The following three shops are my personal favorites:
Foreigners are prohibited from operating trading outlets or shops whose investment cost is less than 8 billion kip (US$983,380), so that small-scale businesses are reserved solely for Lao nationals, according to a new regulation.
Under the ruling, foreigners are prohibited from investing in a specific trading shop, convenience store, mini-mart, wholesale or ……
Although not always as safe as a car, a scooter or motorbike is the fastest way to get from A to B in Vientiane. Relatively small in size, scooters and motorbikes can weave through traffic and zip to a destination in half the time it takes a car; perfect for a trip to the minimart or delivering something across town in a hurry.
There are currently over 12 motorcycle assembly plants in the Lao PDR. Two are Japanese, one is Korean, and the rest are Chinese. With the entrance of Chinese manufacturers into the market, there have been more different types of bikes than ever to choose from and their cheap pricing has made them available to everyone.
Many foreigners who come to Laos are interested in living in the area and in having a home, be it an apartment, a condominium or a house to live in. Because home ownership is so common in other countries, many want to buy their own home or otherwise control the property.
Being new to Laos one of the first questions you may have is whether you can buy property to live in or as part of your business plans.
Land ownership, and the rights of foreigners over land, is a complicated issue here. Foreigners are ….
Stop ten people in the street and ask them, “What is first aid?” Their responses might range from “It’s putting on a Band-Aid” or “It’s giving CPR” or “It’s calling the Doctor. “All of these answers would be appropriate because first aid encompasses the entire gamut of help and medical assistance that someone gives — not only to an injured person — but to a person who is sick.
First aid applies to a broad range of medical situations. First aid is not just a set of skills. It also involves the ability to …..
Some of the Westerners who come to Laos to live and work come here with unrealistic expectations. They have been here on holiday and expect that life in Laos will be totally free of frowns.
Most often they are in for a rude awakening and that awakening often turns them into cynical, bitter, angry whiners who see themselves as victims. They are miserable and they frequently make others miserable. The reason for this is that they acquired a disease we will call Expatitis and any depression or problems they ….
For those new to Laos, heading out in your car for the first time can be a daunting experience. Traffic rules differ to other countries and there are a lot of new driving techniques to learn. Parking can also be very confusing because of special rules and regulations unique to Laos.
In Vientiane and other cities there are …..
When French paramedic Sebastian Perret witnessed a fatal accident in the Laos capital, Vientiane, in 2010, he was shocked that no ambulance came to help.
Every day, four people die in road crashes across Laos, giving the country one of the region’s worst road fatalities per capita in the region. Many more are injured but most cannot afford to pay a government ambulance to help them.
Unable to ignore the plight of the city’s road crash victims, Perret set up Vientiane Rescue, a volunteer ……
We all know that a ‘pet is for life’ and when we take on the responsibility of our furry family that means taking them with us when we move home, and in some cases country. Travelling with pets is becoming increasingly popular as international quarantine requirements are easing (in many countries there is no quarantine) and airlines are improving their services for pet owners.
Exporting your pet from Laos can at first appear to be both incredibly complicated and costly. Clear advice and guidelines can be hard to come by with conflicting reports and experiences. Fortunately, the process can go smoothly with …..
Education is one of the most vital institutions in our children’s lives and deciding upon the right school can be challenging under the best of circumstances. When a family is relocated overseas it can be even more daunting because of the myriad issues and unfamiliar choices involved. The basic (K-12) school choices in Vientiane fall into the following categories:Read more
In June 2014, the new Labour Law (2013) was approved, replacing the Labour Law (2006). The new law is the result of extensive discussions between the various Lao authorities, private sector entities and development organisations, and introduces a number of changes to the basic rules of employment in Laos, including the employment of foreign workers.
Because the area of employment law is quite vast, this is ……
You may notice cars driving around Laos with all manner of number plates in many different colours and codes. Some of these you will come in contact with when purchasing a car and some you will not.
Knowing the difference can save you a lot of time and money when purchasing a car under your own name as certain number plates denote different types of vehicle status. Tax Not Paid plates, for example, are reserved for foreigners living in Laos under certain conditions, usually diplomatic or aid workers.
Unfortunately, the local hospitals are still a “no-go” for foreigners due their lack of the most basic equipment. Most expats in Vientiane visit either the Alliance International Medical Centre (“Thai Clinic”), the French Embassy Medical Centre (“French Clinic”) or the Medical Clinic at the Australian Embassy (“Australian Clinic”).
Read more about each clinic here: …
As many foreigners have discovered to their dismay, marrying or divorcing a Lao citizen is not a straightforward process. Unlike most other jurisdictions, a foreigner must obtain the permission of the Lao government in order to marry a Lao. The overall process involves the presentation of a number of documents, interviews and assessment of the application by various government offices.
Below is a very brief discussion of the steps required to marry your beloved. Obviously every marriage (and divorce!) is different and you should obtain ……
“Entreprise des Postes Lao”, the general Vientiane post office have moved from the corner of Khou Vieng Road and Lane Xang Avenue to the new location of Ban Saylom / Saylom road, right opposite the headquater of Lao Telecom (big red office building).
The courier services such as DHL, Fedex, and EMS also have been moved to the new premises as well the counter of Western Union. With regards to the P.O. Boxes, they are …..
Our new J&C Forum looks better, is easier to handle and now you can add photos to your postings.
Do you have something to sell, like your car, motorbike, computer or …. ? Just post it onto our forum !
Have you made Laos your new home? Are you thinking about moving to Laos ? If you want meet like minded Expats living in Laos then you have come to the right place. Join J&C Expat Forum and discuss food, meet friends, talk property in Vientiane, finances, jobs and much much more. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Someone else is already wondering about the question you’re about to ask. Beat them to the punch.
Officials have warned those who plan to marry foreigners to follow legal marriage procedures, especially women who choose to leave Laos and reside in their fiancé’s country.
The warning came after reports emerged that many Lao women who got engaged to foreigners have left Laos and gone to live in their intended’s country without undergoing the correct procedure – several of whom have been reported as suffering from unexpected ill treatment from unfaithful partners.
Some of the women from this group are believed to have fallen victim to human trafficking as they were reported as having lost contact with their families at home since their …..
This is the third of a series of articles designed to help you improve the security in and around your home. In previous articles we have outlined 13 principles for the prevention of theft and break-ins. In this article we will look at the safest steps to take in the unlikely event that you encounter an intruder in your home.
It is important to know that thieves are trying to avoid detection and do not want to come face-to-face with you, but there may come a time that you arrive home or wake up to the presence of an intruder. It is hard to know how you will react in such an unfortunate situation, but the following guidelines will put you on the path to the best possible outcome in a difficult situation:
In the last article we introduced the first five principles for do-it-yourself prevention of theft and break-ins at home specifically for urban capitals, tourist areas and special economic areas. In this article we recommend more useful techniques that you can use to avoid unwanted events in and around your property.
6. Dogs and Pets: are the best signallers of unusual events. Even untrained dogs signal naturally when seeing, hearing and smelling someone or something unusual…… 7. Homemade Alarms: Having a tinker in your own home to develop basic alarms is an inexpensive way to increase ….
With rapid economic development in the region, even Lao PDR is not exempt from a rise in petty theft and robberies. Often it seems that thieves are a step ahead of the law and of protection technology. Expatriates and Lao citizens are equal targets of crime, but expatriates often lack a local network and permanent presence within their homes. In this and future articles we will explore what the average household in Vientiane can do to improve their security.
The following is a summary of advice from the findings of …..
Visiting Asia with children is getting more and more popular and for good reasons, as the Asian, and of course also the Lao mentality, is very child friendly. If traveling with children in Asia, you will experience numerous times that local staff will help out watching your kids or giving them attention while you try to get some food or have troubles getting around. Indeed the Asian and Lao culture seems to be very child-friendly when it comes to traveling.
Also traveling Laos with kids may build a great number of intercultural bridges, as your kids will eventually get into verbal or non-verbal communication and playing with other children, which again, for the parents will open doors to experience the local Lao life and culture, unspoiled and very direct…
We want to clearly encourage families to travel in Laos, since we have ….
Before departing for the border, make sure you have a ‘car passport’. This is a yellow or pink book available at the Ministry of Roads and Transport, located on Setthathirath Street between the French Embassy and the Honda Dealership.
The border crossing is usually fairly free of cars early in the morning and late in the evening. When you arrive at the border, park your car in the middle area where the other cars are parked. It is necessary to exit from your vehicle and take your documents to the relevant booth.Read more
Where can you get quality art supplies in Vientiane? Almost nowhere, apparently, according to one art gallery owner who I spoke with. There are two notable and convenient places to shop for art and craft supplies in Bangkok, however. The first is at the top floor of the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall Department Store. You can find a large range of most items, however it tends to focus more on stationery than arts and crafts.Read more
Although the medical situation in Laos is rapidly improving, unfortunately there is not yet a hospital of international standard. For those living here, the closest hospital of any standard would be across the border, such as Wattana Hospital in Nong Khai or better yet Aek Udon Hospital in Udon Thani. In the case of a critical medical situation, however, it’s best to head to Bangkok and seek medical attention in one of the better hospitals there.
Bangkok, Thailand features some of the finest hospitals in Asia, if not the world, something immediately obvious upon any visit by way of the immaculacy, impeccable service and well trained staff at any of the city’s major private hospitals.Read more
As many foreigners and People of Lao origin living abroad have expressed an interest in living in Laos permanently, the Lao Government is to introduce in the very near future a new decree outlining permanent residency requirements for foreigners.
People of Lao origin living abroad, as well as foreign nationals, can apply for permanent residency in Laos once the new decree is approved by the government.Read more
It was Benjamin Franklin who said that nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. He certainly wasn’t wrong, even here in Laos. A new law is set to increase taxes paid by foreigners from the current flat rate of 10% to up to 28%. Tax paying organisations with a large amount of foreign workers are in for a rough ride.
The presidential decree regarding tax which has now been passed was dated 01 March 2011 and amends the existing tax rates of Profit Tax, Business Turnover Tax and Personal Income Tax.
Premium Outlet is a new semi-covered shopping complex which has opened in Udon Thani that features direct factory outlet shops for many clothing brands including Adidas, Nike, Lacoste, Levi’s, True Religion, Guy Laroche, Lee, Roxy, Echo and more.
Prices are heavily discounted; some items up to 70% less than the ordinary retail price.
Some people believe that by living in an area of Vientiane with a high volume of foreigners, or in a compound style property, their home and belongings will be more secure. Whilst at first it may feel comfortable to live amongst one’s own, this does not necessarily guarantee security. In fact, quite the opposite is often true. If the majority of houses in an area are rented by foreigners, this meansRead more