Laos has plenty of hotels on offer for passing cyclists and standards have come a long way from the early days of tourism. Some rooms can still be musty but in general you should be able to find a clean room in relatively good shape for 50,000 kip.
It’s always possible to find something cheaper, usually around 30,000-40,000 kip, but you might be in a prison cell of a room with peeling paint and an odd smell.
In the backpacker havens of Vang Vieng, Tadlo and Don Det, it’s easy to find a bungalow for 15,000-20,000 kip. These are quite spartan, with shared bathrooms and possibly the hardest beds you’ve ever slept on, but they usually come equipped with a hammock and sometimes a water view. Bungalows usually have mosquito nets too.
Almost every bungalow or hotel will provide you with a towel and a bottle of water. Luxury extras like air conditioning and a television only tend to appear when you’re spending 80,000 kip and up for a double room.
There isn’t always the option to splurge but you can experience five-star luxury and some fine boutique hotels at reasonable prices compared with Europe or America in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Around $30 U.S. will get you a solid three-star room with breakfast around the waterfalls of Tadlo and Tadfane in the south.
For the most part, there’s always at least one guesthouse within a day’s ride, although occasionally this means doing long distances. If you’re not confident putting in the odd day over 100km then pack a tent just in case. You could ask permission to put it up at a temple or within the grounds of a police station or school. You could take over one of the many huts in rice fields in rural Lao for a night.