The Lao as a rule are not vegetarian, and generally do not understand why foreigners would choose not to eat something that is traditionally prized on the dinner table. In many restaurants, however, they are becoming used to foreigners' odd culinary tastes. Vegetarian options are often highlighted or in a separate section, although it's not unusual to see items such as "vegetarian salad with pork/chicken/beef." They mean meat, not a soy substitute. If you're in doubt, tell them kin sinh bo dai.
If you're really strict, it is probably worth learning how to make it clear that you do not want fish sauce: bo sai nam pa. A dash is often used to add salt to a dish. Vientiane has a limited range of vegetarian-targeted places, but other than that you're in for a lot of variations on vegie stir-fries.
Please find below some of the more frequently asked questions (FAQ) people have about travelling to Laos. We've tried to answer all the most frequently asked questions, but if you have another query about Laos, please try our Travelfish messageboard.
Is it possible to rent rooms or dormitories for longer periods of time while travelling in Laos?
Rooms: Is a fan room ok, or should I budget for air-on?
Should I take my own padlock for the door of my room while travelling in Laos?
What should I do if a bag is stolen from my room or dormitory while travelling in Laos?
What standard of accommodation can I expect for US$5 in Laos?
Why are there so few dormitories in Laos?
Why are there so few hostels in Laos?
How reliable is the public bus system?
Is it easy to hitch-hike in Laos?
Is it easy to rent a car or motorcycle in Laos?
Should I get a tourist minibus in Laos?
Which is better, speedboat or slow boat?
Are credit cards accepted in Laos?
Are there ATMs in Laos?
Can I send money out of Laos?
How can I have money sent to me in Laos?
Should I bring travellers cheques, credit/debit cards or cash to Laos?
Should I tip in Laos?