Health and Safety
Crime in Laos is relatively low level although this doesn’t mean that it is non-existent and bag snatching can happen here so be vigilant with your possessions when walking or riding on a motorbike taxi.
Be aware that despite stories of wild parties, particularly in Vang Vieng, drug possession is punishable by death in Laos. It is also common for the local authorities to come down particularly hard on foreigners, so really think about the consequences before getting involved with drugs in Laos.
General vaccinations recommended for all travelers to Laos include diphtheria, hepatitis A, tetanus, yellow fever, hepatitis B and Japanese encephalitis.
Dengue fever is prevalent in Laos and visitors should take precautions to avoid being bitten. These include using insect repellent, avoiding going out at dusk, and covering up using long sleeved clothes at night. There is no vaccination or treatment as such for dengue fever.
Laos is technically in a malarial zone although most places are malaria free and the risk is low. Still, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before travelling.
Medical care is not of the standard that it is in Western countries and so should you get seriously ill or injured in Laos you will need to be evacuated to Singapore or Thailand for treatment, so make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance before you go. For some more general information, please see our page about health precautions.