When visiting temples (call "Wat") you must
be dressed decently and remove your shoes before you enter the religious
buildings. Avoid wearing short and sleeveless shirts. Be deferential in front of
objects in the pagodas.
When entering a Wat or a private home, it is customary to remove one’s shoes. In
Lao homes raised off the ground, the shoes are left at the stairs. In
traditional homes, one sits on low seats or cushions on the floor. Men usually
sit with their legs crossed or folded to one side, women prefer solely the
latter. Upon entering, guests may be served fruit or tea. These gestures of
hospitality should not be refused.
Since the head is considered the most sacred part of the body and the soles of
feet the least, one should not touch a person’s head nor use one’s foot to point
at a person or any object. Moreover, men and women rarely show affection in
public. It is also forbidden for a woman to touch a Buddhist monk.
Laotian food is based on fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and especially herbs.
It is always being freshly prepared and not being preserved. Other than sticky
rice, which can be eaten either sweet or sour, or fermented and is eaten with
fingers, Laotian food is very rich in vegetables and is often browned in coconut
Rice is the staple of Laotian food. Lap is a traditional dish. It consists of
minced meat accompanied by citronella, onions, and spices and mixed with a fish
sauce and roasted rice. Lap means "happiness and luck". The sticky rice is
always served with the hot sauce or a spicy fish or shrimp based sauce.
Laotian cooking not only uses cultivated vegetables, but often wild fruit or
vegetables picked from the forests are used as well. Laotian food has a unique
flavor and some dishes can be spicy to the un accustomed foreigner. Clothing
During the hot season, January to April, bring light clothes in cotton and
linen, sunglasses and a hat all year long. Sunscreen and bug repellant is also
recommended. From November to December, the cold season, it is a good idea to
bring warm clothing such as sweaters and jackets for the morning and evening,
and even more so if you are visiting the mountainous regions of the North. From
May to October, during the rainy season, it is best to have waterproof clothing.
It is best to wear easily removable shoes or sandals when visiting the temples
Source: Laos National