Basically a mountain range separated by lakes, rivers, streams, roads, and villages, the natural terrain of Laos makes it an epic template for the start of any adventure motorcycle tour. With good, smoothe tarmac, and constantly changing off road enduro style sections, there is something to satisfy every motorcyclist out there. The constantly twisting and turning of these high mountain roads will put a smile on any bikers face, filling their heads with fantasies of riding like Valentino Rossi. Or for some Casey Stoner, ahem In the submenu pages, I have copied some of the more basic, dry, factual statistics as they apply to Laos. if you have any questions, please Contact Us ASAP.
Lao people are frank, open and friendly, and they possess a strongly-developed sense of courtesy and respect. Everyone who adheres to the latter will receive a warm welcome.
The generally accepted form of greeting among Lao people is the nop. It is performed by placing one’s palm together in a position of praying at chest level, but not touching the body. The higher the hands, the greater the sign of respect. Nonetheless, the hands should not be held above the level of nose. The nop is accompanied by a slight bow to show respect to persons of higher status and age. It is also used as an expression of thanks, regret or saying good-bye. But with western people it is acceptable to shake hands.
When entering a vat or a private home it is customary to remove one’s shoes. In Lao homes raised off the ground, the shoes are left at the stairs. In traditional homes one sits on low seats or cushions on the floor. Men usually sit with their legs crossed or folded to one side, women prefer solely the latter. Upon entering guests may be served fruit or tea. These gestures of hospitality should not be refused.
Since the head is considered the most sacred part of the body and the soles of the feet the least, one should not touch a person’s head nor use one’s foot to point at a person or any object. Moreover men and women rarely show affection in public. It is also forbidden for a woman to touch a Buddhist monk.
Laos has a total population of 4.6 million, 13% of whom live in Vientiane province. People share a rich ethnic diversity, comprising such groups as Hmong, Khmu, Yao, A’kha, Ikoa, Lu etc. Most of them have kept their own customs, dialects and traditional dress. In total 47 different groups are accounted for in Laos. These can be classified into three broad groups:
- The Lao Lum (lowlanders) who make up 56% of the population and predominantly live along the Mekong river.
The Lao Theung (uplanders) who comprise 34% of the population, living on slopes and hills with an elevation of less than 1,000 meters.
The Lao Soung (hill tribes) who constitute 9% of the population and live in the mountainous areas.
The population density of Laos amounts to 19 people per square kilometer, a small number compared to the country’s neighbors: 120 people per square kilometer in Thailand; and 200 people per square kilometer in China.