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Is It Safe to Travel to Laos Right Now?

Laos is a laid-back country known for its serene landscapes and slow pace of life. Travelers can find a country full of friendly locals and untouched wilderness to experience. But is it safe to travel to Laos right now? Read on for your Laos tour safety guide.

Is It Safe to Travel to Laos Right Now?

Laos is widely considered to be a very safe country for tourists. In 2023, Laos was ranked #46 in the Global Peace Index. The ranking, which looks at many factors, including violent crime and terrorism, ranks safety in Laos as similar to countries such as South Korea and Vietnam. Popular areas are generally free of crime apart from pickpocketing and petty theft. With common sense and sensible precautions, tourists can expect to stay healthy and safe there.

Laos is a very safe country
Laos is a very safe country

Tourism of Laos is important in areas such as Luang Prabang and Vientiane. Visitors can expect to be treated well and be able to find help if needed. It can be best to travel with a guide to more rural areas or for exploring the wilderness. Communication in these areas can be difficult, and a local guide may be needed to deal with any issues.

The most significant danger to travelers in Laos is traffic accidents. Traffic in major cities can be chaotic, with some reckless motorbike and tuk-tuk drivers on the road. Other areas might have poorly maintained roads and traffic regulations that are not strictly enforced. Rural roads can become impassable during the rainy season. Travelers should stick to reputable transportation whenever possible.

The ongoing conflict in Myanmar is causing some instability in the border region. Conditions have the potential to change rapidly. Travelers planning to visit Bokeo province should keep an eye on the news and exercise a high degree of caution while there.

Can I Travel to Laos Alone? How Is It for Female Tourists?

For solo travelers, Laos is generally safe. The friendly and welcoming culture usually makes for a pleasant and enjoyable trip. Solo travelers should still exercise an average level of precautions. Be aware of your environment, respect local customs, and don’t leave any belongings unattended. Common sense will go a long way to ensuring a safe Laos trip of a lifetime.

It is a good idea for solo travelers to buy a local SIM card in Laos. It will help you stay connected when out exploring. Some hostels, like the Dream Home Hostel in Vientiane and Spicy Laos Backpackers Hostel in Luang Prabang, can be good choices for people who want to meet other solo travelers. The social atmosphere at these hostels makes for a great place to meet like-minded people and can help beat any loneliness you might experience traveling alone.

solo tour in laos
Solo tour in Laos

Female tourists find Laos to be a respectful and safe place for travel. Street harassment is uncommon, and the country’s deep Buddhist traditions make it an overall hospitable place for women. It is still advised to follow local customs and dress modestly in public places. Women should also be cautious when out alone at night. Well-lit areas are usually safe, but isolated spots should be avoided. Make sure to use reputable taxis or tuk-tuks for transportation.

Female travelers should be careful with alcohol. Never accept open drinks from strangers, and don’t leave your drink unattended. Women should drink in moderation, particularly when out late at night. 

What Places Should I Avoid When Traveling Laos for Safety?

Current advisories recommend avoiding Xaisomboun Province, east of Vang Vieng. Some governments consider the area to be at significant risk of civil unrest. Since 2016, efforts have been made to open up the area to tourism. Nevertheless, intermittent violence has been reported, including clashes with anti-government groups.

Avoid traveling alone into certain wilderness areas without a local guide. Some parts of Laos have unexploded bombs and other ordinance dating back to the Vietnam War. Xieng Khouang province and areas near the Vietnamese border along the former Ho Chi Minh Trail are considered high-risk areas.

Bokeo province, particularly near the border with Myanmar, may be best to avoid. The current conflict in Myanmar has made this area attractive to criminals, drug traffickers, and people pursuing other illegal activities.

Bomb village in Laos

What Should I Be Careful of in Laos?

Laos is a tropical country, so mosquitoes can be a problem. Malaria isn’t an issue in big cities, but dengue fever can be a risk. Bring or buy mosquito repellent with DEET, and make sure to follow the instructions. When visiting remote regions, wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves. Sleep under a mosquito net whenever possible.

Be cautious as a pedestrian. Stay aware of your surroundings when crossing the road and use pedestrian crossings whenever crossing the street.

Tap water in Laos is unsafe to drink. Local people usually boil water before drinking, but tourists should stick to bottled water to avoid potential health issues. Bottled water is inexpensive and widely available in towns, but it is best to buy some in advance before traveling to remote areas. The water and ice cubes served in restaurants are safe to drink.

Health care in Laos is not very advanced. Hospitals and clinics are well-equipped for treating minor injuries and ailments. Any severe problems will require a transfer to Thailand, where healthcare is of a much higher standard. Buying health insurance in advance is strongly recommended.

Taxi scams and overcharging can happen. It’s best to choose from reputable taxi companies for transportation. You can negotiate taxi fees in advance and carry a card with your hotel address to avoid misunderstandings.


For major cities and tourist destinations, travelers to Laos only need to exercise a level of caution to have a safe trip. Take care of your belongings, watch out for mosquitoes, and be careful on the roads.

A common sense approach to traveling will cover most of what you will encounter there. The relaxed atmosphere of the country and welcoming culture make Laos an enjoyable place to visit. You can feel relaxed about visiting Laos and focus on discovering the country’s hidden gems. Feel free to contact us to tailor your upcoming journey to Laos!

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