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LAOS TRAVEL TIPS

The generally accepted form of greeting among Lao people is the Nop. It is performed by placing one?s palms together in a position of praying at chest level, but not touching any part of the body . The higher the hands, the greater the sign of respect. Nonetheless, the hands should not be held above the level of the nose. Local Etiquette

  • Visit temple, should dress appropriately, covering shoulders and knees. Take off your shawl when go inside the ?Sim?
  • Buddhist culture, should not pointing your feet at some one. For example, by putting your feet upon a stool-is rude.
  • Fewer local people give alms in the morning than in the past. Camera flashes in their faces are not appropriate practice at a time when they are quietly practicing their faith. Any time you see our culture hurt by a thoughtless individual, please speak up.
  • Holding hands, and other displays of affection with the opposite sex are private acts that should not be done in public.
  • Lao People are modest, and it?s uncomfortable to see people who are not. Nude bathing at the water fall, in the river or while rafting, is never appropriated.
  • Don?t buy old objects or antiques as souvenirs; they were probably stolen from unprotected temples or historic sites. This is our national treasure leave it so others and our children may enjoy and be proud of what our ancestors left for us.

Lao people are frank, open and friendly, and they possess a strong developed sense of courtesy and respect for all people.

The generally accepted form of greeting among Lao people is the Nop. It is performed by placing one?s palms together in a position of praying at chest level, but not touching any part of the body . The higher the hands, the greater the sign of respect. Nonetheless, the hands should not be held above the level of the nose. The Nop is accompanied by a slight bow to show respect to persons of higher status and age. It is also used as an expression of thanks, regret or saying good-bye. But with western people it is acceptable to shake hands.

The feet form the inferior part of the body (as much spiritually as physically). You must never indicate or touch another person or object with your foot.


Food
Lao cuisine is similar to Thai food with meat salad and papaya salad being popular dishes.

Vegetables, fish (mostly fresh water varieties, as Laos is landlocked), chicken, duck, pork, beef, and water buffalo are often grilled or roasted in lime juice, lemongrass, mint leaf, coriander, coconut milk, hot chilies, and other spices.

Internet Access
Access is available at internet cafes. In provincial capitals, where there is more competition, rates run from .50-$1/hr. Travelers can expect to pay from $3-$6/hr in places where there are fewer outlets.

Health Travelers are advised to take insect repellent with DEET. You may want to consult your physician on proper medication to take for malaria. Mosquito netting is always suggested when you sleep.

Insurance
Travelers are advised to check with their insurance company for emergency evacuation coverage.

Meal Costs
Expect to spend about $40 USD/person/day, an additional $20 in high end restaurants.

Tipping
For good service, guides are usually tipped $10-15 USD/day, and drivers about $5-10. Tips are not expected in restaurants, but for good service you may leave $1-2 USD in the local currency.

 
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