I just returned from a month in Laos. One major inconvenience that I hope you will share with anyone going to Laos. I brought 800$ in cash. As I exchanged money at stores or banks, I quickly was surprised how many of my bills were not accepted!! The US bills must be in pristine condition. No tiny marks, folds..... nothing. Thailand had no problems with the US cash. But I only had 200$ of exchangeable cash. Bring mint condition US bills. Or use ATM. It sucked carrying 600$ that in all aspects was worthless until I left.
Check this out, mate:
http://indochinatravelblog.com/insider-guides/laos-holiday-guide-plan-the-perfect-trip-for-the-first-time-visitor.html about 1 month ago