Far East Asia
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Questions about Laos - safety, malaria tablets
edited January 2009
Far East Asia
My friend is currently in Thailand wanting to go to Laos for 2 weeks. can anyone advise as to the safety and risks as opposed to Thailand
Laos is quite simply one of the safest countries on earth. Peaceful people, low crime, no terrorism and virtually no incidents against tourists.
Laos is very safe in terms of crime but not so safe when it comes to medical facilities and transportation safety. Also more than 100 people a year die of unexploded bombs and mines left from the American war so stay on trodden paths. If you need seriouse medical help seek attention in Thailand. None of these are reasons to not visit and in general almost everybody is fine, especially along tourist routes. For a very complete list of what to look out for visit the US state department site www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_946.html
To minimize (hardly existing) risk just go by speed-boat on the Mekong if you´re really in a hurry. And the ladnscape is more enjoyable travelling by slow-boat.
The speed boats are fast but can be dangerous if the water levels are low. Passengers are given motorbike helmets to wear because these little boats are like canoes on red bull. they are crazy fast so be careful. On the other hands, the slow boats are very scenic but very uncomfortable for westerners because the seats are made for small size asian people!
do you know what vaccinations, medical things you really need to do for two weeks travel in thailand and laos. We're going Bangkok chiang rai slow boat to luang prabang vang vieng vientiane bangkok? What's really necessary?
The days for having a battery of injections (typhoid, typhus, cholora, etc) are thankfully gone. Talk with your Dr. about getting a "gamma globulin" injection to boost your immune system prior to leaving. If you're going to be traveling on the cheap you may also want to investigate the Hepatitus-A vaccine. Drink only bottled liquids and resist using ice in drinks except at the higher priced tourist restaurants and hotels. Some bottled water sources are even suspect, safer to stick with beer and coke.
Have fun; Laos remains a gem in SE Asia.
Travelling to Nong/Kiau and Luang Prebang - also to a lot of places in Vietnam.
Do I need malaria tablets (which ones) and is rabies vaccination important?
Regarding the questions on Malaria tablet and Rabies, please visit website for more information http://www.travelfish.org/feature/95
Actually, you don't need Malaria Tablets and rabies vaccination while you are traveling in Laos. But, you need mosquito repellant with you all the time. If you have rabies vaccination available in your country, it is worth to have one before traveling to Laos.
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