Safety in Laos

Laos Information

    This guide on safety in Laos isn’t meant to put you off from traveling to this unique country, but it’s a good idea to know some helpful tips on staying safe and healthy throughout your vacation.  

    Laos is one of the safest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia – locals are often helpful and polite to foreigners. You may encounter low-level crimes, such as scams and pickpockets in touristy spots, which are annoying rather than dangerous.

    1

    Medical

    Before traveling to Laos, make sure you’ve received medical vaccinations for the following deceases: Hepatitis E, Hepatitis B, dengue fever, tuberculosis, and Japanese encephalitis.

    Dengue fever is one of the most common afflictions in Southeast Asia, so it’s a good idea to know the symptoms. If you’re infected by this mosquito-borne disease, you may experience high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains. You can prevent infection by wearing long-sleeved clothing and carrying bug spray when you’re outdoors.   

    photo by Christian Bowman (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Petty theft in Laos

    Lao people are generally trustworthy, but there are opportunistic thefts that can be avoided by simply being aware of your surroundings. If you’re staying in a hostel or low-budget hotel, don’t leave cash and valuable items in your room. Keep them in your locked luggage or bring it along with you.

    When riding a crowded bus, it’s a good idea not to keep your phone or wallet in your pocket – stow them safely in your bag and keep it close at all times.

    photo by Clay Gilliland (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    3

    Drinking water in Laos

    When it comes to drinking water in Laos, you can get bottled and purified water from most convenience stores and supermarkets. Tap water should always be avoided unless you boil it beforehand.

    Milk in Laos is unpasteurised, so it’s a good idea to seek out powdered or tinned milk, also found in local supermarkets. Eating out in Laos can be tricky to determine, especially street food. Just make sure your vegetables, meat, and fish are fully cooked, and you should be fine.

    photo by Mr ATM (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler

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