Archive for the 'Practicalities' Category

Oct 03 2013

Staying safe in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Mind the buffalo

On the whole, Laos is not a dangerous country and Vientiane is safer than most Western capitals. Gang violence and sexual assault of travellers is virtually unheard of. That said, Laos is still a developing country; widespread poverty and lack of infrastructure mean the roads are dangerous and petty theft can occur. Here’s what we … read the full post

Sep 03 2013

Holidays and festivals in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

A rocket in Thailand's version of the festival explodes over Yasothon. Obviously the Lao make them better.

Laotians enjoy nothing more than a celebration. An exceptionally sociable lot, the Lao will use any occasion to gather together to eat, drink and be merry; here are a few of the most popular festivals and holidays in Laos. Pi Mai Lao The biggest holiday in Laos is Lao New Year, or Pi Mai Lao. … read the full post

Aug 18 2013

Swimming in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Going for a dip in Luang Prabang's Khan River

Laos is hot. Being landlocked and far from the sea leaves many wanting for the refreshment of a cool breeze and splash in whatever water they can find. So what can you do when you get all hot and bothered? There are alternatives… Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’ve just got … read the full post

Jul 24 2013

A guide to social etiquette in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Shoes off by the door

With their laidback attitude and a deep aversion to confrontation, the Lao are pretty tolerant of foreigners failing local social etiquette. Yet while they may not vocalise their discomfort, they may still form negative impressions of visitors who unwittingly break cultural taboos, often bearing their resentment in silence until an opportunity presents itself to be … read the full post

Jun 13 2013

Fresh fruit in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Rambutan, the 1980's punk of fruits

Eating delicious fresh fruit is one of the great joys of travelling in Southeast Asia. Abundant and refreshing in the tropical heat of the day, a huge range of options can be found — small and sweet, cumbersome and stinky or large and luscious. Laos has them all. Here’s your guide to what you’ll find … read the full post

Jun 10 2013

Wet markets in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Fresh pah deck, the preferred Lao seasoning

Wet markets might be slowly disappearing, but for now they remain a pillar of Southeast Asian culture in many parts of the region. While they offer none of the convenience of a modern supermarket, and significantly less hygiene, they’re a hub of community activity; market vendors spend their days in close quarters with each other … read the full post

Jun 05 2013

Travelling with children in Laos

Published by under Practicalities


Many travellers to Laos are drawn to the country by its more peaceful pace of life. With improving facilities — and the party scene in Vang Vieng hushed — an increasing number of family-friendly activities are available, making Laos a great relaxed place to travel with children. For older children, kayaking, climbing and zip-lining in … read the full post

May 16 2013

River transport in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

Cargo on the river includes buffaloes.

Laos is a mountainous, land-locked country making it time consuming to traverse despite a road network that’s improving every year. Historically, the primary mode of transport around the country was via boat with most of the country’s major towns linked by a network of rivers. To this day, many smaller towns are serviced by passenger … read the full post

Feb 13 2013

Speedboats in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

It's hammer time

Speedboats in Laos have a kind of mystical aura surrounding them, with travellers often chatting about their dangers over a beer as they watch the sun set over the many rivers throughout Laos. In fact, if you’re looking for a second opinion on whether you should take a speedboat or not from a fellow traveller, … read the full post

Jan 16 2013

Awkward healthcare questions in Laos

Published by under Practicalities

no bugles

There are certain pharmaceutical and medical needs that travellers may have that are slightly awkward to satisfy — say, asking around Vientiane whether you can get the morning-after pill or miming to a pharmacist that you have intestinal worms. If you’re in Laos, here are a few helpful tips that will hopefully help you avoid … read the full post

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