Whether you decide to visit Laos from the get-go or whether you decide to drop a visit to the country whilst visiting another neighbouring country in Indochina, there are plenty of things that you should know before you reach this overlooked spot on the tourist map. Laos is a beautiful country and worthy of the attention it has been gaining, but it goes without saying that there are rules you should be following to avoid any incidents during your stay. Here are some things you should not be caught doing in the country:
- Indulge in drugs – there are plenty of bars in Vientiane Laos, the capital of Laos, and drinking is perfectly fine. The welcoming nature of most hosts will often see you being offered more than you can drink, but you are safe to decline drinks if you had enough or simply do not drink. The issue, however, lies in drugs, which are against the law. There is an influx of marijuana, heroin and the like, and many street vendors and shady clubs offer them. Laos is not your destination if you are planning to take part in these activities, as you can find yourself in serious trouble with the law if you get caught.
- Prostitution – Despite the presence of the many Vientiane bars and clubs, prostitution and sexual services are forbidden by the law. If you search around, you will most likely find a number of shady spas and masseurs that willingly offer such services – or you might even find that your tuk-tuk driver or guide is willing you to introduce you to someone. Your best bet in these situations is to simply refuse and turn heel as quickly as possible. There is a good chance that the police are collaborating as a way of catching wrongdoers, and it is best to avoid any kind of trouble with the police whilst in Laos. If you are in need of spas or massages, the safest option is to rely on the services of the high-end hotels in the capital, which provide qualified services. View more information by visiting http://vientiane.crowneplaza.com/.
- Get too touchy – public displays of affection and invading personal space is frowned upon in Laos. As yet another conservative country in Asia, this applies to both instances of holding hands, hugging, etc. with your family members (especially of the opposite sex), and to touching Lao people as well. Sexual relations with a native who you are not married to is a criminal offence, and a mere accusation can land you in trouble, not to add, the whole practice of touching another person in public is simply poorly accepted by the local community. When greeting the locals, avoid handshakes and opt for the local greeting of joining your hands together with a bow (as in prayer).