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Jun 29, 2007
Laos Travel Warnings

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with amendments to the Local Travel and Natural Disasters section. The overall level of the advice has not changed.

There is a low threat from terrorism in Laos. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

There is no British consular representation in Laos. Routine consular matters are covered by the Australian Embassy in Vientiane. The British Embassy in Bangkok is responsible for non-routine consular matters. The British Embassy in Bangkok is accredited to Laos. See the General (Representation in Laos) section of this advice for more details.

You should be aware of and respect local conventions at all times. The Lao Government prohibits sexual relationships between foreign citizens and Lao nationals except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao family law. You should also be aware that penalties for illegal drug importation and use are severe and can include the death penalty. See the Local Laws and Customs section of this advice for more details.

Unexploded ordnance in rural areas is an ongoing danger.

Outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Laos have resulted in two human deaths in 2007. See the Health (Avian Influenza) section of this travel advice and Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet for more details.

Most visits to Laos are trouble free. The main type of incident for which British nationals required consular assistance in Laos in 2006 was for replacing lost or stolen passports. You must carry an ID document or passport at all times, you will be heavily fined if you do not present any documentation on request by the authorities.

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See the General (Insurance) section of this advice and Travel Insurance for more details.
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