Laos is one of the great travel frontiers; landlocked and mountainous, swamped by jungles and promising Indian Jones adventures in remote tribal villages and ancient Buddhist caves. In order to your visit is enjoyable and request that you respect the law, culture and customs, please read on to find out more about the Do’s and Don’ts for culturally sensitive travel in the Laos.
Greeting in Laos
The Laos word for Hello is “Sa Bai Dee”, usually said with a smile. Touching or showing affection in public will embarrass your hosts.
Laotians traditionally greet each other by pressing their palms together to ‘Nop’, although it is acceptable for men to shake hands.
- With Laotians, your head is ‘high’, your feet is ‘low’. Using your feet for anything other than walking or playing sport is generally considered rude.
- Touching someone’s head is very, very impolite.
- Laotians appreciate clean and neatly dressed visitors.
- Bathing nude in public is impolite.
- Please remember to take your shoes off before you enter a Laotian’s home.
- Please show respect and dress neatly while in temples and when taking photos.
- There are many sacred items and sites in Laos. Please do not touch or enter these places without permission.
- Monks are revered and respected in here; however women should not touch a monk or a monk’s robes.
- Please help to keep Laos clean and beautiful by not leaving litter. Picking up rubbish sets a good example for youth.
- The illegal sale of wildlife and wildlife products endangers many species native to Laos. Help protect wildlife by refusing to buy wildlife products.
- Please help preventing forest fires.
The use of drugs is illegal in here. The consequences may be severe for you and Laos society.