Everyone should think about their health and safety when traveling. Therefore it’s important to know about the dangers of a particular country. One thing in advance: Laos is not an overly dangerous country which also applies to Luang Prabang. After all, there is neither war nor a high rate of violent crime here. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no dangers here. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Dangers due to crime
As Luang Prabang is a touristic city and Laos is poor, robberies can’t be ruled out. Be careful and don’t walk into dark alleys at night. There are many drug addicts in the country, so caution is advised. You also have to be careful of pickpockets. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t classify Luang Prabang as a dangerous city. We almost always felt safe and incidents are unlikely. By the way, be cautious when renting a moped. Always take photos and try to avoid theft or accidents at all costs. There are often cases of fraud here, which can be quite expensive.
The danger of traffic accidents
Like in other cities in Laos, the quality of the roads in Luang Prabang isn’t optimal. This is especially true for roads outside the center. Moreover, it’s not uncommon for traffic rules to be neglected. In our opinion, traffic accidents are one of the biggest risks in Luang Prabang. Especially in rural areas, you must be aware that you may not be able to get medical care immediately. Speedboats pose a particular risk. They’re often involved in fatal accidents.
Other countries in Southeast Asia, such as the Philippines, are far more dangerous than Laos in terms of natural disasters. However, during the rainy season, there can be monsoon-like rains, widespread flooding, and landslides. Even earthquakes are possible, as Laos is located in a seismically active zone. News about floods can be found at the Mekong River Commission.
Many people still worry about dangerous animals when they travel to tropical countries, but you don’t have to worry too much about this. There are dangerous animals like tigers in Laos, but an encounter is almost impossible. However, you should be aware that water buffaloes can become aggressive and seriously injure you. You also have to get immediate help if you’re bitten by a snake. Some poisonous snakes in Laos are very dangerous.
The greatest risk comes from mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue and malaria. If you get a fever, it is better to see a doctor immediately. You should also try to avoid mosquito bites at all costs. Always use insect repellent and (if possible) body-covering clothing.
Laos has a drug problem and even though the situation in Luang Prabang may be better than in Vang Vieng, you have to be careful. The problem here is not only the crime itself but also the quality of the drugs. Deaths after drug use are not uncommon. Many tourists died in the past. Especially hard drugs like opium should be avoided.