Safe Travel in Laos
Safe Travel in Laos
Laos is one of the safest countries to visit. The country is peaceful,
the people are friendly, and the air is fresh. Full of people with relaxed
attitude to life, Laos is a relaxing country to live in and to visit.
Laos is the 34th most peaceful country in the world according to the
2010 Global Peace Index. Out of the rest of South East Asia, Laos only
ranks lower than Malaysia and Singapore. This sends a clear signal that
the country is a safe to live in and safe country to visit.
Despite this fact, nowhere in the world that is 100% safe and Laos is no exception.
A little bit of common sense and some sensible precautions can go a long way toward
keeping you well in check when it comes to your personal health and safety
Also it is recommended that you follow any particular warnings your own country has
issued at a particular time. Check the internet for traveller advice from embassies
Here are some suggestions:
- Do not venture into less travelled paths or unknown territory such
as remote jungles. You might risk stumbling upon UXO. As you might
know Laos was heavily bombed by the Americans during the Indochina
war from 1964-1973. Although the UXO have been cleared from most major
tourist destinations, there are still very many “un-cleared”
areas in many provinces of Laos.
- When in Laos, always conduct yourself within the bounds of its
law. Offences such as dealing drugs, rape or treason can incur the
death sentences. There are also heavy penalties for drug possession
and use, so if offered drugs by locals, such as opium, do not buy
it or use it as you may be reported to the police by the seller.
- Always carry your passport if you're a tourist or an ID card if
you're living here in Laos. Tourists are seldom checked, but you never
know when the police will approach you. If you fail to provide your
identification you risk running into troubles.
- Carry your driving licence if you drive.
- Always wear helmets when riding motorcycles or bikes, traffic sense
is not that great in this country and there are a lot of accidents.
- Avoid traveling on the roads during holiday periods such as Lao
- Don't go wandering aimlessly alone through a town or city late
- Avoid back streets when commuting at night as most of them are
dark, and are often places that muggers focus on.
- Put your valuables such as money, credit card and your passport
in a money pouch and keep it concealed under your clothing.
- If you are riding a bicycle do not put valuable items in your basket,
there have been incidences of drive-by theft. Make sure they are on
- Laos is a tropical country where dengue fever that is caused by
mosquitoes is common. Avoid mosquito bites and you will be fine. Bring
mosquito repellent with you or buy some in Laos, it is cheap and available
in all markets and pharmacies. Wear light coloured clothing with long
sleeves and make sure you are covered well at night. Dengue mosquitoes
bite in the day, so if you have an afternoon nap, make sure you sleep
under a net. In fact nets are a good idea at all times, particularly
if you are travelling in the country.
- Usually water and ice-cubes that are served to you in restaurants
in the cities are safe for consumption. However, tap water in Laos
is not safe to drink. Locals in remote areas of Laos drink water from
wells or rivers; some boil their drinking water some don't. When/if
they offer you water, politely accept it, but you don't have to drink
- Even though bottled water is reasonably cheap and readily available
everywhere in town, it might not be the case in the remote areas.
It is wise to buy some in town and carry with you if you travel out
to such areas.
- Carry some snacks when traveling to remote areas in Laos as you
might not spot any restaurant on your way.
- Avoid any food that you think has been cooked for a long time and
has been sitting around (such as grilled meats in markets). Always
opt for freshly cooked food or soup.
More informative page
Travel Tips: Dos and Don'ts in Laos
"The careful foot can walk anywhere"
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