Is Vientiane dangerous?

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One question many tourists ask themselves is whether Vientiane is dangerous. This question is certainly justified. However, Vientiane is definitely as a safe city. The crime rate is very low and you actually virtually hear nothing about violence against foreigners. Nevertheless, something can happen. Especially if you are careless. In such cases you should contact the tourist police. They have English-speaking officers. And actually there are some potential dangers in Vientiane. So, let’s talk about it. ‘

Danger by traffic

The most dangerous thing in Vientiane is the traffic. It is definitely the biggest threat to your health. You need to watch out whenever you cross the street or drive by yourself. Deaths are not uncommon. When talking about dead foreigners, it’s almost always related to a traffic accident. Even at night, when the streets seem calm, you should be really careful. Especially at this time, it can easily happen that you encounter a drunk driver. That can cost you your life. The high risk of traffic accidents isn’t only related to the driving style of the locals, but also the condition of most roads.

Danger by thieves and robbers

Robberies are extremely rare. It is very unlikely that they happen. We’ve never really heard anything about armed attacks on tourists. Nevertheless, you should at least be careful when withdrawing money. Look at your surroundings. If you notice suspicious people, just go to another ATM. As in any city, you should also watch out for pickpockets in Vientiane. Especially in areas with many people. When you’re drunk, you need to be careful. There are rumors of ladyboy gangs who are out for the purse of foreigners. We can’t confirm the truth of these rumors. Either way, it is important that you pay attention when you are drunk, eventually you are an easy target.

Danger by bag snatchers

Especially at night you should be careful with backpacks or bags, since they can be easily stolen. There are some two-man teams with a motorbike that focus on careless tourists. However, it is actually not difficult to avoid such incidents. Just don’t be a too easy victim. For example, if you nonstop look at your cell phone at night, find yourself standing by the side of the road, and hold your bag loose, you don’t have to complain.

Danger by animals

Yes, animal bites or scratches may hurt. Especially when it comes to large stray dogs. But that’s not really the problem. We’re sure you can endure the pain. However, as in other Southeast Asian countries, there is an increased risk of rabies in Laos. If you are bitten, a rabies prophylaxis is inevitable. Such a prophylaxis is really uncomfortable, but can save your life. If you really get rabies, your chances of survival are nil. However, with a prophylaxis you can prevent it in almost all cases. For such cases, it is of course good to have a travel insurance.

Danger by diseases

As for diseases, Vientiane really isn’t problematic. It is even one of the few cities in Laos where there is virtually no risk of malaria. Still, you should inform yourself about possible diseases before your vacation.  One possible threat would be dengue. That’s why you should always have mosquito repellent with you. Generally always try to avoid mosquito bites. A tip: If necessary, you should refresh your tetanus vaccine or make a new one before you come to Laos. In our opinion, this is the greatest risk. For example because of accidents or animal bites you can easily get a tetanus infection. And without vaccination, the disease is truly no joke.

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