Cash is paramount in Luang Prabang, with prices frequently quoted in three currencies: Lao kip, US dollar and Thai baht. Two ATMs are available in the city, one at each of Luang Prabang’s BPCEL branches, but visitors should not rely on being able to withdraw cash from either of these facilities.
Internationally recognised credit cards are accepted at some hotels and shops, and they can be used at some banks to get cash advances. Travellers’ cheques can be cashed at banks and at money exchange outlets, but are not commonly accepted at shops. Emergency money transfers can be made through Western Union, which is represented in Luang Prabang.
The import and export of the following items is restricted: firearms, religious materials, foreign currency, antiquities and cameras. Visitors wanting to bring any of these items in or out of the country should contact their nearest Lao embassy in advance of travel for more information. Visitors must seek authorisation if they wish to import or export more than US$2,500, or the equivalent.
All persons entering Laos must fill out a customs declaration form. Duty free allowances per person are: 1 liter of sprits and 2 liters of wine; 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco; and 50 grams of perfume.
When visiting a religious site such as a temple in Luang Prabang, it is important to cover your arms and upper legs. Shoes must also be removed before entering. Women should refrain from sitting next to Buddhist monks, who are prohibited from touching women. In Laos, the head is thought to be the most sacred part of the body and the feet the lowest, thus touching a person’s head is considered impolite, as is using your feet to touch or point.
Greetings are made by placing the palms together and bringing them close to the chest in a prayer-like gesture called a ‘nop’, similar to the Thai wai. Younger persons should nop elders first. The Western handshake is becoming increasingly common among business people and youngsters.
As when entering a temple, visitors who are invited into a Laotian home should remove their shoes first. Many hotels and guesthouses also require guests to remove their shoes. Noisy behaviour is considered impolite and hotel owners may object to guests coming back late at night.
You should always ask permission before you take photos of locals. Many of the minority groups fear photography and do not appreciate cameras being pointed at them.
Tipping is common practice among foreigners in Luang Prabang, particularly for service in restaurants. Porters, tour guides and taxi drivers also appreciate a small tip. >>> Read more>>> Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13| 14 | 15 | 16 |