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"R-E-S-P-E-C-T!obviously this..." Laos Local Custom Tip by ramblinsarah

Laos Local Customs: 85 reviews and 82 photos

obviously this is crucial when traveling anywhere, but especially so in a very traditional place like Laos.
Probably the most important thing is dress, especially for women. Girls, forget the tank tops. They're marginally ok in Thailand, but not in Laos. The same goes for short shorts or skirts more than a few inches above the knee. I know, I sound like a prude, but Lao people are very modest. They probably won't say anything if you wear a tank top, because politeness is paramount in laos, but no one will like it very much (except adolescent boys, of course).
And guys, no parading around topless - this isn't Koh Samui and Lao people think it's disrespectful.

My other piece of advice is to go with the flow. Things often seem very 'inefficient' in Laos. Buses stop for an hour for no reason, your food takes an hour to come, your room is not spotlessly ok. It can be easy to get frustrated, but try to remember that one of the most important values in Laos is avoiding confrontation. And then remember you're on vacation! Life is too short for temper tantrums!

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  • Written Aug 26, 2002
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