Frequent question: What type of gestures might be misunderstood in Laos?

A quirky difference in gestures is that it’s rude to point your fingers upward. While waving hello is fine, people will beckon you with their hand pointing down. The Lao only point their fingers upward when calling their pets or motioning to someone with the intention of insulting them.

What is considered rude to do in Laos?

In Laos your head is “high”, your feet “low”. Using your feet for anything other than walking or playing sport is generally considered rude. The feet form the inferior part of the body (as much spiritually as physically). You must never indicate or touch another person or object with your foot.

What should I avoid in Laos?

11 Things You Should Never Do in Laos

  • Don’t touch a monk.
  • Don’t trek without a guide.
  • Don’t argue with police.
  • Don’t touch anyone with your feet.
  • Don’t wear your shoes inside a home or temple.
  • Don’t shout, argue or rush.
  • Don’t make public displays of affection.
  • Don’t buy antiques or wildlife products.

How do people from Laos greet each other?


  • The standard greeting in Laos is ‘sabaideebor’, which means ‘how are you?’ …
  • If someone greets another by saying ‘sabaideebor’, the receiver will usually reply with ‘sabaidee’ (‘it goes well’).
  • Informally, Lao may greet each other with ‘kin khow leo bor?
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Is Laos a bad country?

Laos, officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic, is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International, Laos also suffers from major poverty.

Does Laos speak English?

In Laos, the official language is Lao. But official language aside, there is a horde of other languages they speak. English is one of these languages that locals speak.

How safe is Laos?

Laos is one of the safest tourist destinations in Southeast Asia – locals are often helpful and polite to foreigners. You may encounter low-level crimes, such as scams and pickpockets in touristy spots, which are annoying rather than dangerous.

What is the crime rate in Laos?


Murder rate per million people 45.45 Ranked 95th. 8% more than United States
Murders 279 Ranked 95th.
Murders per million people 45.45 Ranked 95th. 8% more than United States
Fear of crime > Feels safe walking alone > During the day 100 Ranked 1st. 33% more than United States

How do you say thank you in Laos?

Khop Jai ຂອບໃຈ / Thank You

“Khop Jai” or “Khop Chai” means “thank you.” Want to get fancy? Both “Khop jai lai lai” and “Khop jai deu” mean thank you very much. Use the phrase and you’re sure to be met with the standard response: “Baw Pen Nyang.”

What language is spoken in Lao?

Flag of Laos

Use National flag and ensign
Proportion 2:3
Adopted 12 October 1945; 2 December 1975 (re-adopted)
Design A horizontal triband of red, blue (double height) and red; charged with a white circle in the centre (the diameter of white circle is four-fifths the height of blue band)
Designed by Maha Sila Viravong
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Why is Lao poor?

Despite rapid growth, Laos remains one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. A landlocked country, it has inadequate infrastructure and a largely unskilled work force.

Why is Laos spelled with an S?

The word Lao in the Lao language has no “s” at the end. When the country was colonized by the French, they transcribed the word into the French alphabet, with a silent s at the end. When English speakers anglicized the French version, they pronounced the s.

What is the poorest country in Asia 2020?

Top 13 poorest countries in Asia (World Bank, by 2020 GDP per capita, current US$)*

  • Nepal ($1155.14)
  • Kyrgyzstan ($1173.61)
  • Pakistan ($1193.73)
  • Timor-Leste ($1381.17)
  • Myanmar ($1400.21)
  • Cambodia ($1512.72)
  • Uzbekistan ($1685.76)
  • India ($1900.71)