Traveling Laos with children can be both rewarding and challenging, but its merits definitely outweigh the cons. Here are some of our practical tips for traveling Laos with children.
Laos is great place for kids
In general, Laos is easy to travel with children, especially if you stick to the well worn but still worthwhile path of Vientiane – Vang Vieng – Luang Prabang. You can always fly between the major cities to spare your kids the long bus trips. In these three main cities, you are never too far from a decent hospital in case of emergency.
Regardless, Laos is one of the most underrated countries in Southeast Asia but it has such a rich, well-preserved heritage and beautiful natural landscapes that make it a great – and easy – place to explore with children regardless of age.
People in Laos love children. They adore babies especially, so expect some attention if you’re traveling with an infant like us. We love how people would come up to Kaleya, tickle her belly, pinch her cheeks or even give her something to eat. The attention isn’t excessive or bombarding – embrace their interest and make some new friends!
Health and Safety
Laos’ s lack of adequate healthcare facilities is a major concern for parents, so having travel insurance is a must. Remember to consult your travel doctor about necessary vaccinations a few months ahead of your trip to ensure plenty of time for any series of shots required.
Rabies is a problem in Laos, so avoid letting your children play with animals and consider a rabies vaccination before departing. Be wary of mosquitoes – while malaria is very rare outside of remote areas, dengue fever affects a substantial number of people and has no preventative treatment other than avoiding bites — mosquito nets, coils and repellents are especially important during the rainy season.
In case of sickness, the Vientiane French Medical Centre has a paediatrician who speaks English and French. There’s also a newly established pediatric hospital, Laos Friends Hospital for Children, in Luang Prabang that provides free treatment to kids in Laos. As you should with any trip to Southeast Asia, bring your own well-stocked medical kit and any children-specific medication. It’s essential to bring rehydration solution in case of diarrhoea, which can be quite dangerous in young children.
What to eat
If you’re traveling with kids who are already eating solids , feeding them nutritional food is probably another area of concern. Lao food is delicious and healthy, but also very spicy (many dishes will contain chillies). Fried rice, congee, noodle soup (pho) or grilled chicken are easy options for the young ones.
Around Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, you’ll also find plenty of more familiar Western dishes such as pizzas, spaghetti, and burgers with fries. Even local eateries have some of these options, so rest assured you’ll still get to eat local.
Some practical tips
Be warned that the sun in Laos can be intense in the middle of the day, even during “winter” from December to February (when we visited). Slap on sunscreen and a hat, stay hydrated, cool off at a waterfall or pool and make plans for down time. Temperatures drop quite a lot at night in winter, so be sure to pack layers, socks and a jacket.
Take advantage of low season rates (May to October), when hotels reduce their rates to half of their high season rate. Temperature and weather is best in October, November and February. Check with the hotel and give them notice about requests like extra beds.
Read more Lao information and travel tips, please visit our website. Hope that you will have enjoyable and safe trip in Laos. Thank you!