A small but diverse country, Laos is a landlocked marvel of geographical beauty, cultural and historical heritage, rich biodiversity, and architectural wonder. In the past decade, the Lao government has opened the country to welcome foreign film productions, allowing Laos to emerge as a viable filming destination.


It is a legal requirement in Laos for all foreign film crews to obtain a filming permit issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Media Department. Separate permissions are usually required for specific locations such as national parks, historical parks or religious establishments that have their own administrations; we can efficiently arrange all permits on your behalf throughout Laos. 

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Government Watcher

While filming it is a requirement that foreign film crews are accompanied by a government watcher and usually at least 1 x government security person. Laos is not considered a dangerous country yet the security person is typically a stipulation of provincial authorities.

A fee of 3000 baht per day is charged for this service + costs if filming in a remote area. In many cases the monitoring officer will only pop in from time to time, however watcher fees are charged in advance and are non-refundable. On large shoots, the government may require that multiple watchers attend.

Film Permit Processing Costs

The complexity and work load of processing each permit varies as greatly as the technical complexity of different film shoots.

Therefore it’s only possible to provide an accurate permit processing estimate once some details on the shoot specifics have been provided. Feel free to send through some basic details on your shoot including: A brief description of the program with a rough filming schedule noting the filming locations. With this information in hand we’re able to quickly obtain a permit processing estimation..

Permit Processing Time Frame

The permit processing time frame depends upon the complexity of the shoot and the number of government agencies and other entities involved. A straightforward shoot within a single province can usually be processed within 3 weeks (however we strongly advise allowing longer).

On the other hand, if a shoot visits national parks, historical sites, religious sites, or several different provinces which all require separate paperwork processing, the time frame will increase accordingly. With few exceptions it’s usually possible to obtain even the more complex permits within 6 weeks.

In one case, we obtained permits in one week that several other fixers in Laos had been unable to obtain in over a decade. The point is, in Laos, the right contacts can be critical.


Film crews can arrive in Laos on a regular tourist visa. For most nationalities (Europe, US, UK, Japan, Australia and NZ) a tourist visa is obtained on arrival at the international airport costing $30-$40 per visa.

At the immigration arrival area, the crew will be issued with a media ID card from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative who will accompany the shoot.

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