Dos and Don'ts in Laos

International travelers, especially first-timers, can sometimes find it difficult to navigate the cultural norms of Lao culture. As a result, to have a happy journey, you should glance at Dos and Don’ts in Laos associated with the customs of the people’s traditions and daily lives. 

Knowing Dos and Don't in Laos will make sure your Laos Tour is joyful.

Dos in Laos

- Travel with reputed travel agents (Tripadvisor is a good source). If you don’t check the reputation of travel agents you chose, you are likely to get low-quality service. In the worst case, you will find yourself in bad condition: dirty hotel, uncomfortable car, bad food, etc.

- Only use your feet for walking or playing sports

- Enjoy awesome Lao food whenever you can to help local business and Lao farmers.

- Say sabai dee - the Lao word for 'hello' with a smile. When greeting a Lao person you should touch your palms together below your chin and nod your head downwards.

- Help to keep Laos clean and beautiful by not leaving litter.

- Show respect to the local religious customs and dress neatly (long and body covering clothes) while in religious sites and when taking photos. Generally, locals are happy to be in your photos if you respect their space. If possible, ask permission first. Lao people appreciate clean and neatly dressed travelers. Anyone who has strong body odor tends to get disgusting looks.

- Take off your shoes and leave them outside the house or on stairs before entering a Lao person’s home.

- Gently crouch down when passing someone who is seated.

- Accept any water that Lao people serve you even if you don’t want to drink.

- Show respect to monks, novices, and nuns

- Purchase local handicrafts and products to support the local economy. 

Avoid these don’ts below and you can make your way through Laos without offending the locals.

Alms Giving Ceremony in Luang Prabang

Don’ts In Laos

- Don’t touch someone’s head or show affection in public as it will embarrass your host.

- Don’t point with your feet/toes, have your feet raised/or propped up on tables

- Don't touch the robe of the monk, anyone’s head, and women.

- Don’t walk around in a swimsuit or bikini

- Don’t wear shorts, tank top to the pagodas, temples or other religious places. You will be considered rude and sometimes you will not be allowed to be in.

- Don’t sit down higher than a monk, your host or than a statue of Buddha.

- Don't give gifts or money to children, or a poor novice in the temple as it encourages begging. Instead, it is wise to give to an established organization or village elders.

- Don’t step over any part of a person, but if you must, always ask to be excused first.

- Don’t use plastic bags and return rubbish to towns or villages.

- Don’t shout or raise your voice, especially in public, as Lao people speak softly and avoid confrontation. 

-  Don’t use drugs in Laos

- Don’t buy antique Buddha images or other sacred items as a lot of them were stolen from unprotected temples and sites

Wish you have an unforgettable holiday in Laos!

Don't wear shorts in temple

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