Lao, French, English, and various ethnic languages
The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Laos is home to some of most unreached hill tribes in the world.
Following a brutal civil war, Laos came under communist rule in 1975. Today, more than a third of Laos’ population lives below the international poverty line. The government has been accused of corruption and violating human rights against a minority tribe called the Hmong people.
The majority of Laotians practice Buddhism and spirit worship. Christian missionary work is often monitored by the government.
Will you live the Gospel in a nation where the name of Jesus is not known?
Laotians are hospitable and friendly people. They have a very relaxed attitude to life.
It is not acceptable to touch Lao people’s heads. Feet should not be placed on furniture or pointed at things or people.
Before entering a Lao person’s home, take your shoes off. If the host (especially an elderly person) sits on the floor, you should as well.
Lao/Laotians dress conservatively. If you don’t want to be a “black sheep”, dress neatly and modestly (don’t show too much skin), or you’ll get strange looks from the locals.
In Vientiane, check out the Patuxai Arc in the middle of town. It resemble the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and costs less than 40 cents. Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs!
In the evening, head over to the Night Market for the best tourist shopping.
Cool off in the heat by going to Inpeng Culture Park (a local, inexpensive water park) for an entire day.
If you are near Pakse, you can rent mopeds and spend your day exploring local waterfalls like Tag Yuang.