Skip to content

What Is It Like Living In Laos?

    Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

    Living in Laos as a foreigner is a unique experience, but as Laos is not as touristy as other neighboring countries such as Thailand or Vietnam, information and statistics are lacking. Nonetheless, in today’s article, authentic personal experience and external data have been sourced to answer some of the biggest questions you may be asking, such as how much money I need to retire in Laos and what it is like living in Laos?

    What Is It Like Living In Laos As A Foreigner?

    Laos offers a slightly different way of life than other Southeast Asian countries due to its geographical location. Laos is a landlocked country meaning that there are no beach resorts in the country, so if you wonder what it is like living in Laos as a foreigner, but you are a beach lover, then Laos may not be the ideal location.

    The Laos Locals

    Laos locals are extremely friendly and often welcome foreign visitors. Locals are very similar to other locals in neighboring countries. Often sharing respect and courtesy for the individual and tradition will get you very far when living in Laos as a foreigner. Additionally, some parts of Laos are not very touristy, so you may be looked at more often as a foreigner, but this is usually due to curiosity.

    The Internet In Laos

    The Internet in Laos is a common talking topic as, unfortunately, even in the modern world, it is not the fastest. You will still do many tasks, but it may take you much longer than average, and video performance may be slightly lower. However, several expats work online and live in Laos as a foreigner and still gets by fine. It depends on your geographical location, type of connection, and provider.

    Earning Money In Laos As A Foreigner

    When looking at what it is like living in Laos as a foreigner, one topic is earning additional income. To start a business, you will need to have the appropriate business visa, although the requirements are not too complex, and the process is relatively straightforward.

    Aside from starting up your own business in Laos, you also have the option to offer your services as an English teacher, which is still a high-demand service in Laos. Also, there are many volunteer opportunities across the country for those looking to volunteer and get involved without financial gain.

    For more information about investment opportunities in Laos and how to start a business in Laos for foreigners, feel free to visit us on our YouTube channel for weekly updates.

    How Much Money Do I Need To Retire In Laos?

    The total cost of living as a retiree in Laos is between $800 – $1500. the exact amount a retiree will need all depends upon the individual’s lifestyle and healthcare demands. If you are a retiree looking to enjoy your retirement fully, then you may wish to budget on the higher end of this scale. Nonetheless, it is possible to live and retire in Laos for much less.

    We have covered retirement in Laos for foreigners in a recent article. We discussed if Laos is a good place to retire for foreigners and dived into how much money you will need if you retire in Laos in more detail.

    I would always recommend budgeting slightly higher than you expect to spend as this will cover any retirement or living expenses that may occur during your retirement in Laos. Additionally, similar to other cheap southeast Asian countries, the city you are situated in will determine your overall lifestyle costs. Capital cities and metropolitan areas are, on average, much more expensive.

    What Do You Need To Know About Living In Laos As A Foreigner?

    There are several local laws and customs that foreigners need to know if they plan to live in Laos. The first law applies to singletons as the Lao government prohibits sexual relationships between foreigners and Laos citizens. The only time this is legal is when they are married in accordance with the Lao family law.

    Some scams were reported of police and adult workers working together to scam travelers as the fine for being caught is a minimum of $500. These reports have not been verified; though, many independent statements exist.

    Getting involved in any drugs is strictly prohibited and carries with it a severe punishment, including the death penalty. Aside from these, some less strict regulations include photographing certain buildings such as military sites and touching monks.

    Should You Live In Laos As A Foreigner?

    Living in Laos as a foreigner, whether you are retired or not, offers unique benefits, including some common pros and cons similar to every South East Asian country.

    Laos is not the cheapest South East Asian country. Thus it may not be best for retirees or foreigners looking to live in Southeast Asia on a budget. Instead, countries such as Thailand may be more suitable. Nonetheless, the locals are amiable, the food is fantastic, and the Laos scenery is beautiful.  

    More Laos Expat Guides

    What Is It Like Living In Laos