10 things you should never do in Laos


Each country has its own law, customs, as well as the unique culture, flavor that may be totally unacceptable to another country, another culture. Therefore, when traveling in different countries, it is important to know what you should do and what you should not do in order to have the safe and happy trip. To understand more about Laotian and their culture and etiquettes, the following are 10 DON’T things tourists have to notice in Laos.

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Do not touch the monk

Do not touch the monk even acquaintances if you are female, especially when you go out or in the temple. Women also should not give anything to a monk, if they want to send something, please give it via a man. Women only can offers food for monks on Almsgiving ceremony in the early morning.

Do not touch the monk even acquaintances if you are female, especially when you go out or in the temple (via travelmemo.com)

Do not walk out without guides

Although it is considered a safe country, it does not mean that there are no crimes; moreover, there are about 260 unexploded bombs have not yet been discovered scattered throughout the country so it is very dangerous if you go into these areas. Remember that Laos is not the ideal country for backpackers.

Do not touch or point your feet at anyone

In Lao culture, head is considered the most sacred part while the foot is the lowest and dirtiest of the body. Therefore it is rude to point one’s feet at others especially at the Buddha in the temples. So you remember to turn your feet away from the Buddha and if sitting in a kneeling position makes you uncomfortable, try the cross-legged sitting, which is usually acceptable for westerners.

Do not touch or point your feet at anyone (via Culture Trip)

Do not wear shoes at Laotian’s house

Like many countries in Southeast Asia, you have to put your shoes off before entering a Laotian’s house even if the homeowner has told you that you can put your shoes in the house, you still do not do that because they just want to respect you.

Do not shout or argue

Lao people are often reticent so they hate to argue even bargain when shopping so you should not shout or argue in Laos. Let’s learn to live slowly, be patient and always smile when traveling to this country.

Do not display affection in public

Laos is not a country where you can comfortably express your affection in public like hugging or kissing. Laotian will be very embarrassing to see people acting like that.

Do not display affection in public (via 2Sao)

Do not buy antiques and wild animals

No matter where you are, buying and selling wild animals is illegal. Besides it, it is also illegal to take the antiques, ancient Buddha statues or ancient sculptures out the country. You will be penalized severely if you break the law.

Think carefully before deciding to drive motorbike by yourself in Laos

Motorbikes are the popular mean of transportation in Laos, however, once you decided to drive motorbike in Laos, you are solely responsible for any accidents or injuries can be occurred.

Think carefully before deciding to drive motorbike by yourself in Laos (via Cookiesound)

Do not be naked or wear bikinis on the street

Wherever you go in Laos, you should make sure you are not wearing revealing clothing. They highly appreciate clean and neatly dressed visitors so bathing or wearing bikini in the public is considered very impolite. It will be the best if you wear a sarong – the shirt Lao women often wear to go out.

Drugs are illegal

Illegal drugs, especially marijuana and opium, are prevalent in Laos. Exercise extreme caution. If a tuk tuk driver offers you prostitutes or drugs unprovoked, your safest bet is to turn him down. Some dealers are in cahoots with the police and will turn in their clients.

Read more Lao travel guides and other tourism information, you can visit our website. For any questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us. Have a nice trip!