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Laos Do’s and Don’ts

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Always remember that visiting Laos is an opportunity to experience a world outside of your own and the best way to fully do that is to respect the culture and acclimate to the customs.


  • Practice a formal greeting for Lao 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 Lao person;s home
  • Accept any water that Lao people serve you even if you don’t want to drink.


  • Touch Lao 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 Lao 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
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