Also are there any dangers etc to watch out for.
While history may have given them ample reason to distrust outsiders, the Lao are a genuinely friendly people and interacting with them is one of the greatest joys of travelling through the country. Always remember, though, that Laos is a Buddhist country and so it’s important to dress and behave in a way that is respectful.
Different from Sinh of Lao women, Lao men wear “Salong” as the Laos traditional costumes. “Salong” are big pants or the peasant pants. Lao men wear Salong to attend important events or ceremonies.
However if you are walking around the streets or shopping or even eating in a restaurant, (as long as it is not too flash), then shorts and T shirts are fine. The locals wear them as well, to suggest otherwise is just plain incorrect. This even holds true in Laos which is a far more conservative country than Thailand.
I feel more comfortable in sleeveless tops so always carry a light long sleeved top in handbag just incase.
Nowadays, economic development followed by the changes in society, culture, especially, the way people dress up. However, when travelling to Lao, you can see that Lao people still maintain their traditional costume in festivals and you will have chance to contemplate the beauty of Lao people in traditional clothing. Read more: Tours in Laos
They feel terrible on my skin, they itch, rub and smell. I still believe the best is cotton or cotton mixed with something else. In te uS you can buy clothes made of bamboo fabric. they are expensive , but I can make my own.
Hmm. Wearing shorts in Asia is not tacky at all UNLESS you are visiting temples or Government offices, museums etc. An extremely large number of the locals wear shorts. Btw I would definitely NOT suggest synthetic t shirts. You will perspire far too much. Cotton are far better.
Regarding the cotton vs synthetic debate, well I guess you prefer synthetics. personally I can't stand to feel that sweaty wet feeling I get when I wear a synthetic t shirt or shirt. I also find that cotton cools far more quickly. I will admit that there are some specialised t shirts and shorts made for atletes which you can buy in dept stores and sporting goods shops which dissipate perspiration, but they are expensive and they are not what we were talking about.
The peasant pants worn by men are traditionally in the Khmer style. Men generally wear an Indochinese shirt or jacket with a Mandarin collar. They also wear a checkered shawl, known as a pha biang.
- Hua sinh, the head of the sinh, is the waistband part which is typically tucked in and hidden.
Meanwhile, Lao men put on salong-big large pants or the peasant pants, with a shirt, optional knee-length white socks and a pha biangwhen they attend important ceremonies.
The fact is that as long as you exercise common sense and dress appropriately when visiting temples, govt offices, museums, shorts are ok. My heavens sake, even my Laos wife wears shorts if we go out to an informal restaurant. Where does this stuff above come from?
Booking Office: 41c Tay Ho Road, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam
All Buddha images are objects of veneration, so it should go without saying that touching Buddha images disrespectfully is inappropriate. When sitting on the floor of a monastery building that has a Buddha image, never point your feet in the direction of the image. If possible, observe the Lao and imitate the way they sit: in a modified kneeling position with legs pointed away from the image.
It’s worth bearing in mind that, as in the rest of Asia, showing anger in Laos is rather futile – it’ll more likely be met with amusement or the swift departure of the person you’re talking to, in order to save face.
Thank you again for making our holidays so special! Our time in Laos was not long but we thoroughly loved it. The discovery experience was amazing and the view of landscapes was so unique. We really enjoyed the itinerary which helped us...
The traditional skirt of Laos is called a sinh, which consists of a wrap skirt made of cotton or silk. The body of the sinh is called the phuen sinh and typically has two colors. The hem of the sinh, or tin sinh, will have intricate designs in embroidery. The sinh's waistband, or hua sinh, is generally not seen.
Enjoy your stay, the people are lovely, and look out for the "Stay Another Day " booklet from tourist offices or hotels, it gives great suggestions for tourist activities and sustainable tourism suggestions in Vientiane and Luang Prabang
Rufus, if you have no idea what I am talking about regarding clothes and synthetic fabrics, head to an outdoor store and look at their camping/mountain climbing/trekking wear. Synthetic fabrics that breathe and dry quickly once you sweat in them. I would never wear cotton garments in humid climes like Southeast Asia. However, if you prefer to be soaking in sweat and have your laundry take 2 days to dry out (in 80% humidity it can take that long!).
I haven’t read of any special dangers so far.
All in all, coming to Laos is a good idea for visitors who want to seek for beautiful clothes.
"Wearing shorts in Asia is simply tacky. Wear long pants. "
Each gender wears different types of clothing. According to the Lao’s beliefs and values, women are considered as mothers of the nation, so Lao women need to dress up well. They usually wear the scarves, blouses and the silk skirt and coil their hair when they attend important ceremonies. The traditional costumes for women in Laos mostly include a “sinh”, a“blouse” or a“suea pat” and“pha biang”.
Public displays of affection – even just hugging – are considered tasteless by the Lao and is likely to cause offence. Though the gay scene remains very underground in Laos, gay travellers are unlikely to be threatened or hassled. Sexual relations between an unmarried Lao national and a Westerner are officially illegal in Laos – in Vientiane especially, the law prohibiting Lao nationals from sharing hotel rooms with foreigners is sometimes enforced.
According to the traditions of Laos, women dress up in skirts, scarves and blouses as "mothers of the nation" while men traditionally wear peasant pants and a shirt. Women typically wear their hair in a coil when they are attending major ceremonies while men will sometimes add a shawl and knee-length white socks. The different ethnic groups found within Laos have their own styles of dress.
Lao social taboos are sometimes linked to Buddhist beliefs. Feet are considered low and unclean – be careful not to step over any part of people who are sitting or lying on the floor, as this is also considered rude. If you do accidentally kick or brush someone with your feet, apologize immediately and smile as you do so. Conversely, people’s heads are considered sacred and shouldn’t be touched.
I notice tourist wearing t shirts and shorts on web photo’s so presuming OK. Would be fine I expect for outdoor activities.
Besides, in Laos, there are many hill tribes which have their own traditional clothing, particularly the Hmong’ one. The Black Hmong dress deep indigo dyed hemp clothing that includes a jacket with embroidered sleeves, sash, apron, and leg wraps. The flower Hmong stand out from the others with the gorgeously complementary of colors which are popularly bright. They typically wear beaded fringe trim along the shoulder and chest or head wraps of colorful tartan.
Sign up to receive latest promotions & special offers from us.
Some of the locals who are doing hard labor wear shorts. You will never see women walking around in shorts unless it is after hours. To expose the less skin the better. When visiting places of worship you will be expected to cover your shoulders. I have seen a fair number of people who were refused admission to temples in Asian countries for wearing shorts and some places will lend you a shawl of wraparound shirt (even for the guys!)
“Pha Biang” is shawl-like garment, or silk breast breast cloth which can be used by both female and male. It is also well known as a long piece of silk, about a foot wide, draped diagonally around the chest cover one shoulder which its end drops behind the back.
I am wondering about visiting temples, as in Thailand I needed to cover my arms but in Vietnam didn’t seem to be a problem.
I' d rather be safe than sorry with my choice of fabrics as well as a more conservative dress code, having 22 years traveling and living experience in these countries, but you are free do do as you like of course!
Clothing Of Laos
Guys will be fine in long shorts, they are universally worn, but sleeveless tops look a bit tacky. For temples, it goes without saying that it is respectful to dress modestly. No one will say anything, but it just feels right to respect local standards.
The sinh (Lao: ສິ້ນ Lao pronunciation: [sȉn], Thai: ซิ่น Thai pronunciation: [sîn]) is a traditional garment worn by Lao and Thai women, particularly northern Thai and northeastern Thai women. It is a tube skirt which can identify the woman who wears it in a variety of ways. In particular, it can indicate which region the wearer is from. In present-day Thailand, sinhs are typically worn in special events. However, in Laos sinhs are worn more regularly in daily life.
Well, after reading the above post, I just walked outside my office in Vienetiane to check; perhaps I need new glasses. Apart from the people working in offices or government buildings, as I have sai in my post above, I would say about a good 25% of the ladies who walked past me in the last 10 minutes wore shorts.
- Phuen sinh, the body of the sinh, is the main part of the sinh which generally consists of two colors.
I will post a report when we return.We are going for three weeks and also spending time in Cambodia so hopefully i will be able to pass on some helpfull info.
In the past, Lao women and men dressed the same styles of pants and shirts made by textiles with no colors or any decoration wares.Women coiled hair down to both sides to the back and worn earrings.