Is Laos a good place to live: Laos is a unique and charming country in South East Asia, and it’s no surprise that you may wonder is Laos a good place to live full time? Throughout today’s article, we will be exploring this very question and answering one of the most popular questions we get asked: is Laos an excellent place to retire?
Is Laos A Good Place To Live
In this section, we will be exploring the overall experiences of living in Laos as a foreigner. This includes the cost of living in Laos, the safety, and also Laos visa options. Let’s begin.
Cost Of Living in Laos
The overall cost of living is similar to Thailand. Nonetheless, some living expenses can be slightly higher, and thus for a foreigner living in Laos, monthly costs can range between $800 – $1100. depending on an expat lifestyle, living costs in Laos could be slightly more or slightly less, but this tends to be the average from the latest findings.
When we investigate the question is Laos a good place to retire, living costs are one of the most significant factors. You will find retiring in Laos because the cost of living read depends on your area. However, Laos offers a flexible lifestyle for retirees. If you are on a budget or are living off your pension, finding a low-cost way of life as a retiree in Laos is possible.
Food cost transportation costs and accommodation are relatively low on average, but some hotels and hostels can become expensive depending on the season and location.
A great way to save money as a foreigner in Laos is to live how the locals live. looking at the average salary of locals at the high-end locals earn $481 while at the other end it can be lowercase $170. (these are the highs and lows of the average salaries, other salaries can be higher and lower) thus locals have to improvise to live on a budget.
This means that seeing how the locals live is often one of the best ways to save money as a foreigner living in Laos. Of course, you may not need to share accommodation (which is common in Laos). Still, you may pick up a few tips and tricks such as using public transportation and eating local delicacies, for instance, which all add up, resulting in a lower cost of living.
Safety in Laos
Similar to every country in South East Asia, there are always pros and cons living in Laos as foreigners. This includes the safety of a country. as a whole, Laos is a relatively safe country; nonetheless, there are instances of crime that have targeted foreign nationals. These types of crimes are usually petty crimes such as bank snatching.
However, there has been an uprise in certain anti-government groups in recent times, leading to violence and conflict in certain areas throughout Laos.
In some areas, drugs are a concern. This includes areas such as the border between Laos and Burma, often a common root for drug smuggling government sources report.
As mentioned, safety in Laos has its pros and cons, most visits and long-term stays are trouble-free, but one should always be vigilant when living in Laos as a foreigner.
Safety across South East Asia is always a volatile topic. We recommend visiting the foreign travel advice department in whichever country you are from for the latest information.
Expat Lifestyle in Laos
The local people in Laos give the country its elegant charm. Traditionally they are incredibly hospitable. You may; however, you may meet some shy locals; this tends to be due to difficulties in communication due to low levels of English. So it’s always recommended to speak slowly and clearly. But, to generalize, the Laos people are respectful to foreigners living in Laos.
The Internet is also a fascinating area for many foreigners living in Laos. The country itself has a meager cost of living which is perfect for digital nomads; however, the Internet speeds may cause an issue for those who rely on a speedy Internet connexion. Improvements have been made in recent years, but speeds on average are not the best, especially in neighboring countries.
Laos is a popular country in some respects. Still, as it is a landlocked country, it does not get the same level of tourism compared to neighboring countries such as Thailand. as a result, the expat community is slightly smaller than other neighboring countries. However, there are still plenty of networking opportunities for those wondering if Laos is a good place to retire.
Laos Visa Options
Over the last few years, visas have been an interesting topic due to the latest COVID-19 developments. At this moment in time, Laos officials have suspended all visa on arrivals services. Additionally, no new visas are being issued to countries with ongoing COVID cases, except for special visa groups such as essential skilled labor.
When looking at is Laos a good place to live, visas are an important area to consider. Long-term living in Laos can be possible in a few different ways. Traditionally many countries could obtain a visa on arrival or an E-visa, which is extendable. Another option for those looking to stay longer in Laos is obtaining a student visa that can be renewed yearly.
The above services and many others, including business visas and employment visas, will likely resume shortly.
Is Laos A Good Place To Retire
One of the most common questions we get asked about Laos is, is Laos a good place to retire? Laos has a mixture of lifestyles which may be what you are looking for to enjoy retirement.
Laos is a landlocked country, so it doesn’t offer the beach and island lifestyles many retirees enjoy, which is one of the disadvantages of retiring in Laos. Nonetheless, the people of Laos are friendly and warm, and the country has some of the most beautiful sights in South East Asia.
Laos is not the cheapest place to retire in South East Asia; however, it does offer a unique lifestyle, and there are plenty of opportunities for business and investment around the country itself.
Laos is still a developing country across many industries, so if you are looking for more of an upbeat and modern way of life, you may find the Philippines or Thailand to be slightly more suitable. But if you are in your retirement age and looking for a slower way of life, then there are some perfect destinations across Laos for your requirements. Is Laos a good place to live? Absolutely.
Laos Retiree Visa / Laos Retirement Visa
This leads us to the question of how can you retire in Laos without your retirement visa? Luckily there are a few different options available (unofficial retirement options). The first option may not be the most appropriate however it is relatively valuable in terms of visa length, and that is to obtain a student visa that can be renewed yearly for up to five years.
The second option is to obtain a business visa granted to foreigners looking to invest or start a business in Laos. This kind of visa requirement is much more accessible than other business visas across South East Asia; however, there are many different types of visas in Laos. Here are a few examples of vias in Laos;
- Business visa for foreign investors: NI-B2 or I-B2
- Courtesy visa: C-B1
- Diplomatic visa: D-A1
- Expert visa: E-B2
- Long-term visa: I-B3
- Media visa: M-B2
- Official visa: S-A2
- Permanent visa: P-B3
- Short-term visa: NI-B3
- Student visa: ST-B2
- Technical visa for a foreign employee LA-B2
- Tourist visa: T-B3
- Transit visa: TR-B3
Despite not having an official retirement visa, Laos offers foreign citizens the opportunity to obtain other types of visas, which can often be extended. When retiring in Laos, you may find one of these visas more appropriate to your situation and thus choose that option. Still, if you are unsure, a business visa is often the choice for many foreigners looking to live in Laos long term.
More Laos Expat Guides
- Best Place To Live In Laos As A Foreigner
- Is Laos A Good Place To Retire & Live 2022
- What Is It Like Living In Laos