Do’s and Don’ts in Laos
Laos has long been recognized as the land of peaceful nature and hospitable people. However, there are some Do’s and Don’ts in Laos that visitors need to consider carefully before heading for this “Land of a million elephants”.
Hundreds of visitors are attracted to this beautiful country by its peaceful and magnificent natural landscapes. However, there have been lots of regrettable accidents happened here due to the lack of understanding the taboos.
The following are some Do’s and Don’ts in Laos.
When communicating with the local
In the West, you may normally kiss the hands or hug the waist of a woman. However, in Laos, this is considered a rude action. Although you want to be friendly, you should never hug a woman (especially the ones who are unmarried) at her waist or over her shoulders. Even if you do that at a massage destination, the owners will call the police right away and you will be fined immediately.
Wanna take a picture with a beautiful local girl? You can absolutely do that. However, when shooting, make sure that your both hands are either in the front or at the back. Do not break the taboo or you will have to pay for it.
The action of touching or patting someone’s head (especially men’s) in Laos is considered a serious offense. This action may even leads to fights or altercation.
If a local doesn’t consent to your touching his stuffs, they may be so valuable or carry such a special spiritual spirit that he doesn’t want anyone to touch. There might also be the case that the stuffs had been cursed. You should not touch them anyway.
In the daily living
When you are visiting a temple, make sure that you dress conservatively or they won’t let you in. Also, you should not ever turn your back to a Buddhist statue or talk too loud in the temple. Pay attention the prohibition signs here. If there’s sign saying that you are not allowed to take photos, act accordingly. Don’t try to break the rule, you will be asked to leave immediately.
When joining the traffic, you are advised not to honk loudly. Even though this action is not prohibited, the hooter is considered the most useless part of a car in this country.
People here strictly obey the traffic rules. You need to give way to other vehicles when entering the priority lane. Laos people would normally wait until all the cars have gone before crossing the streets. It is such a surprise to realize that the speed in traffic flow here is not high and vehicles often stop at the intersection to look around before entering the new lane.
When visiting Laos, you may come across a village with a rope made of cotton hung at the gate. This means that strangers are not allowed to enter the village. This may be because of an infectious disease or unexplainable death.
When staying at a local’s house, don’t sleep with your head toward the door. You should not shave the beard or have your haircut in the evening. Laos people also avoid cutting hair on Wednesday and washing hair on Thursday. In Laos, people also believe that walking under a rope with women’s clothes hung on it is bad luck.
The things above are something that needs to be avoided when visiting Laos. Keep these in mind and you are sure to make the most out of your trip.
Hope this list of Do’s and Don’ts in Laos helps you get an unforgettable and full of fun trip!
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