Dos and Don’ts in Laos


If you are travelling to Laos, either for a short visit or for a longer stay, it is important to know what you should or shouldn’t do in this country.

Laotians are hospitable, friendly and soft people. They have a very relaxed attitude to life. You should have no troubles navigating Laos culture and interacting with locals as long as you use your head, eyes and your common sense


–          Practice a formal greeting for Laos people such as the “Nop” and handshakes

–          Dress and behave modestly , especially in religious shrines or temples

–          Keep you head lower than Buddha and monks.

–          Take your shoes off and leave them outside the house or on stairs when entering a Laos person;s home

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



–          Touch Laos people’s heads

–           Expose too much skin

–          Wear shoes in temple Buildings

–          Touch the Buddha

–          Turn your back on the Buddha

–          Use plastic bags and return rubbish to towns or villages.

–          Raise your voice to Laos people, especially in public.

–          Expose the feet when sitting down, rest the feet on tables or chairs and gesture with the feet.

–          Step over someone and food