Don't do this in Laos

10 taboos when traveling to Laos

If you plan to take a Laos trip, have you prepared all the necessary things in your luggage? Personal items, visa, plane ticket, and an important thing – internet connection. eSIM for Laos travel is one of the most convenient to stay connected in Laos.

When traveling in Laos, besides learning about famous attractions, you also need to understand the 10 taboos in Laos to avoid trouble for yourself and respect local people.

1. Opposite of the principle “High head, low legs”

“High head, low feet” is the living principle of Lao people. When greeting each other, Lao people often clasp their hands and bow, saying “Xa bai di” with a smile. This is what they show respect for you, so you should respond the same way. You should avoid walking past others. If you must walk in front of someone, bend down and gently walk past them to show that you need to walk and respect them.

2. Taking photos without permission

Coming to Laos, you should pay attention to the prohibition signs they post, it’s best to follow them. Taking photos is relatively normal, but taking photos without permission in Laos is a prohibited act. You may be forced to delete the photos you took or even invited to law enforcement if you violate them.

3. Hugging women’s waists and groping them

Laos is a Buddhist country, so it takes ceremony very seriously. It is unacceptable for you to hug or grope a woman here without permission. Not only women, monks in Laos are respected as superiors, so you need to have a respectful attitude and not touch or act disrespectfully.

4. Rub and pat your head

Lao people believe that God and Buddha are at the highest peak, so good things are always at the highest position. So the seemingly normal act of rubbing your head is one of the taboos here. Even more seriously, when you pat or rub oil on a man, it shows that you are seriously insulting them and can cause unwanted conflicts.

5. Don’t insist

When visiting places or visiting local people’s houses, you often have the habit of examining or touching the items there. This is also a taboo when you come to Laos. Those items can create greed or have spiritual significance for them, so you should not touch or touch the items here without permission and also do not beg them to let them. see. This shows that you are very impolite and very ungainly in the eyes of native people.

6. Dress revealingly when going to temple

As mentioned above, Lao people greatly value Buddhism, so when you come here to visit or enter the temple, you should dress politely and neatly. Women are not allowed to wear revealing clothes when entering the temple, otherwise you will be punished. being “invited out” is not allowed to enter the temple.

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7. Don’t touch a monk

In Laos, touching a monk or novice is considered rude and is completely taboo in Laos, if you are a woman. Women should also be careful not to accidentally touch a monk’s robe on the street, in a temple or when riding in a tuk-tuk.
Women should not give anything directly to a monk, but should instead pass items to a male intermediary. The only exception to this rule is giving morning alms to monks, by placing food offerings or money in the monk’s alms bowl.

8. Don’t argue with the police

Traffic safety laws in Laos are very strict. If you don’t want to meet traffic police here, strictly obey the law. The whistle is also considered a decoration here. Although it is not forbidden, you should limit honking because Lao people value individuality and like quiet.

If you are stopped by the police for any minor traffic offense, you should not argue or go to the police station. Often the police force here simply solicits money from tourists. Just pay the bribe and you can move on.

Not only foreign tourists, but even Laotians do the same when forced to stop by the police for inspection. It’s like an unwritten rule that Lao people still experience, so let’s just follow it to avoid trouble during the trip.

9. Don’t touch anyone with your feet

Stepping over a sitting person is considered extremely rude and taboo in Laos. The same thing happens when you accidentally kick or touch someone with your foot under a table or in a car. The best way is to keep your feet in your seat, and be careful not to put your feet on the table, if you don’t want to be considered uncultured.

10. Don’t wear shoes inside houses or temples

Like most countries in Southeast Asia, you should not wear shoes into other people’s homes. Even in some stores and restaurants in Laos, this also applies. If you want to know exactly whether shoes are allowed in a place or not, follow what other people do.

Even if your landlord tells you that you can wear your shoes into the house, but he or she doesn’t wear them, it’s best to take your shoes off. Because, that saying of Lao people is just polite, when in reality they want you to do something else.

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