Security in Laos, useful tips

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Crime in Laos

Laos is a safe country. Crime in Laos is very low, the population is friendly. Serious crimes almost never happen, but petty theft and deception in the form of inflated prices for tourists and demands to pay for anything, up to, for example, the passage of a pedestrian bridge. However, what may seem like cheating to you is actually just a traditional form of doing business here, so do not rush to immediately scandal or get upset in such cases, first understand everything. In general, tourism here can be described as" voluntary extinction", and, what is bad, the price for what you have already used, you can be announced after. And if you refuse or cannot pay for the service imposed on you, you can be beaten, called the police and "fine" or even arrested. Therefore, everywhere try to be friendly and bargain. So there will be more chances to settle everything in your favor than to show aggression.

Laos is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Extortion of tourists begins right at the border crossings, when tourists are required to pay for each seal and other fictitious services.

Mines and unexploded ordnance

During the Vietnam War, as well as during the so-called "secret war" between 1964 and 1972, the United States dropped more than 2.5 million tons of bombs on Laos. About half a million tons of old dropped bombs never exploded. US bombers flew over Laos after combat operations to land at the airport Utapao (near Pattaya) and in order not to land with ammunition, they simply dropped bombs on Laos indiscriminately. Laos was also bombed and minefields were created purposefully, since the main road for supplying Vietnamese partisans with weapons passed through it.

As a result, now up to 200 people are killed in explosions every year. Tourists should also be careful, especially in remote areas, as not all places are still marked as minefields. In any case, do not go through the fields marked with signs and red flags. The surest way to protect yourself from meeting with a mine or a bomb is never to leave the paths and roads.


Under Lao law, drugs are prohibited to use and buy. Violators usually face a fairly high fine, imprisonment, and for especially large batches the death penalty.

Despite this, Laos has been one of the most popular places for drug tourism for many years. The anti-drug laws here are bad, and even in some" special "cafes you can buy something from the "special" menu. However, cases where tourists are caught buying drugs happen quite often. Sellers often work together with the police to then "unwind" the unfortunate tourist for a lot of money. And especially in any case do not try to take drugs to one of the neighboring countries, there you can wait for the death penalty.

Health and medicine in Laos

There are no mandatory vaccinations to travel to Laos.

The chance of contracting malaria or dengue fever is high and real. It is necessary to take preventive measures, which, first of all, consist in protection from insect bites (mosquitoes).: be sure to treat open areas of the body with a repellent, not only in the evening, but also in the afternoon. It is recommended to use products with a diethyltoluamide (DEET) content of at least 25%. At night, if possible, protect yourself with a mosquito net. If you go for a long time, you should drink a course of antimalarial drugs, for example, doxycycline, Lariam, etc.

Water should be drunk only bottled, sold everywhere.

Medicine in Laos is very poorly developed, there are no serious hospitals. In case of serious illnesses, you will have to go to a neighboring country, best of all to Thailand.

In this regard, we highly recommend that you have insurance that covers, among other things, transportation costs.

Useful tips and traditions in Laos

  • Traveling without an identity document in Laos will entail a fine of 100 thousand Kip (currency of Laos, exchange rate). You must always carry a passport with you, or at least a copy of it.
  • Do not criticize the political system and the Government of Laos, because of that you can be in serious trouble.
  • When visiting temples and other places of worship, dress appropriately: the shoulders should be covered, shorts and skirts should reach the knees. Keep in mind that unlike other Southeast Asian countries, the entrance to many hotels for tourists is paid, and this is not a wiring.
  • Do not touch the head of the Lao, Buddhists believe that the soul of a person is in the head.
  • You should not point at someone with your foot, point at people or show your feet.
  • Women are not allowed to touch monks.

Useful phone numbers, embassy contacts

Russian Embassy in Laos

  • Address: Sisattanak Distr., Thaphalanxay quarter, km 4, Thadeua str., Vientiane, P. O. Box490
  • Phone number: (856) 21-31-2219, (856) 21-31-2222
  • Fax: (856) 21-31-2210
  • Email:

Useful phones

  • Tourist police (France only Vientiane) - 021-251-128
  • Ambulance-1195
  • Police - 1191, 241162, 241163, 241164, and 212703
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