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Understanding LAOS: Home
This guide provides useful information and links to resources on Laos.
The following information have been carefully selected for your reference. Some resources may have bias perspectives. Please approach the SMU Libraries (firstname.lastname@example.org ) should you have any doubts or need clarifications.
This introduction video brings you around Laos, introducing the various ancient temples, natural wonders and sleepy river towns.
Flag of Laos
Find out more about the history of the Laos flag.
Understand more about the cultural etiquette in Laos.
Cultural Dos and Don’ts
By respecting Laos customs and culture you will get so much more from your experience in Laos, earning the respect from the local people makes for far more interesting and successful local interactions, and best of all, it will aid you getting those good prices in the local markets!
Respect local customs. Observe how locals behave and take cues from your tour guide on what’s appropriate. Remember, you are a guest in someone else’s home.
Be mindful of Laos’ conservative culture.
Dress conservatively – tank tops and bikinis are not appropriate attire to wear in villages or in town. Avoid over public displays of affection and foul language.
Respect local people when taking their photographs, especially of children. Generally, locals are happy to be in your photos if you respect their space. If possible, ask permission first. Don’t follow people around and avoid snapping photos of them doing personal things like bathing. Show the photo to them after you’ve taken it.
Protect the environment and respect cultural resources. Be mindful of where you walk to avoid disturbing the natural ecosystem – stay on trekking paths or in designated areas. Help preserve Laos’ centuries-old architecture and archaeological treasures by avoiding, climbing on or touching them.
Purchase local handicrafts and products to support the local economy. Plus, they make unique souvenirs! Bargaining is discouraged but urge you to remember that a person’s livelihood depends on your purchase.
Respect human rights in Laos just as you would at home.
Read more to understand the various Laos culture, customs and etiquette.
Basic Conversational Language
Some phrases in Lao that are handy to know when visiting Laos.
Hello – Sabaidee
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening – Ton sao
How are you? – Sábaidee baw?
Goodbye! – La khãwn
Please – Khâluna
Thank you – Khãwp Ja̖i
Sorry/excuse me – Khãw thôht
Yes – Jao
No – Baw
Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game. Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. The more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.
The only way to become fluent in a new language is to speak it. Tandem is geared toward conversations with native speakers. The idea is that you can help one another learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat. The app vets you and then helps you to find a partner who shares your interests. They teach you and you teach them.
List of emergency numbers (Medical Center, Hospital) to contact when in Laos.
Laos Embassy Hotline: (+856) (21) 353-939
Embassy of Singapore (Vientiane)
+856 21 353939 (Mainline)
+856 21 353936 (Mainline)
In Laos, China has invested in everything from malls and development zones to a mega railway linking the land-locked country to China. Find out how is China's trillion dollar project to connect the world transforming Indochina?
Local Media Source
This section links to the various local news media in Laos.
This section informs the common scams and crimes to look out for when visiting Laos.
Common Tourist Scams Learn how to protect yourself from these common scams and crimes when visiting Laos.
Crime & Security
Overall Crime and Safety Report
Find out more information on the common crime threats, areas of concerns, transportation-road safety, and even terrorism threat.
This section lists some recommended readings about Laos.
Lonely Planet - Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Northern Thailand by Greg BloomLonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely PlanetVietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Tempt your tastebuds withpho noodle soup in Vietnam, sail past the limestone peaks of Halong Bay, or experience the transcendent tranquility of temples like Angkor Wat; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet'sVietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern ThailandTravel Guide: Colourmaps and images throughout Highlightsand itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential infoat your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - customs, history, art, music, dance, landscapes, environment, cuisine Over 70 maps CoversHanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Golden Triangle and more The Perfect Choice:Lonely PlanetVietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand, our most comprehensive guide to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for a guide focused on the individual countries included in this destination? Check outLonely Planet's Vietnamguide, Laosguide, Cambodiaguide orThailandguide for a comprehensive look at all these countries have to offer; orDiscoverThailand, a photo-rich guide to Thailand's most popular attractions. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Greg Bloom, Austin Bush, Iain Stewart and Richard Waters. About Lonely Planet:Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
Call Number: Li Ka Shing Library Lifestyle Collection Level 2 DS556.25 .B566 2014
Publication Date: 2014-09-01
Post-War Laos by Vatthana PholsenaThree decades after the conclusion of the civil war that brought the communist Pathet Lao to power, the leaders of the Lao People's Democratic Republic are still searching for a compelling and unifying national identity. As detailed in Postwar Laos a rigorously researched, cogently argued, and pathbreaking book Laotian nationalism is caught between the rhetoric of preservation and the desire for modernity. Using fine-grained analysis of substantial ethnographic and archival material, Vatthana Pholsena sheds light on the politics of identity, the geographies of memory, and the power of historical narrative in contemporary Laos.Pholsena pays particular attention to the country's ethnic minorities, who had been marginalized politically, administratively, and symbolically by the French colonial government, which ruled for fifty years, and by its Royal Lao successor. Many members of these minorities fought for the Lao People's Liberation Army in the country's civil war (1960 1975), though, and were thus exposed to the processes of modern politics. The first book to examine the impact of such forces on Laos's ethnic minorities and their perception of Laotian nationalism, Postwar Laos also refines established theories of nationalism. Pholsena addresses a weakness common to all: the tendency to deny agency to individuals, who may in fact interpret their relationship to, and place within, the nation in a variety of ways that change according to time and circumstance.Postwar Laos offers a new perspective on the history of Southeast Asia and, more broadly, on the formation of national identity that will be welcomed by historians, political scientists, sociologists, ethnographers, and cultural anthropologists alike."
Call Number: This is an E-Book
Publication Date: 2006-02-17
Laos by Cultureshock Staff (Editor); Robert CooperThe first of a two-volume set which presents a graded course in Bahasa Indonesia, developed at the Australian National University. The book is intended for those who want to study the language at beginner and intermediate levels.
Call Number: Li Ka Shing Library Lifestyle Collection Level 2 DS555.382 .C65 2011
Publication Date: 2010-10-07
Inconvenient Heritage by Lynne M. Dearborn; John C. StallmeyerThe major international recognition of a World Heritage Site designation can bring important preservation efforts and a wealth of tourist dollars to an impoverished area--but it can also have destructive side effects. In a revealing study with lessons for tourism and preservation projects around the world, this book examines the redevelopment and packaging of Luang Prabang, Laos, as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites that "belong to all peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located." It tells the story of how the world's most prestigious preservation initiative led to a management plan designed to attract tourists and global capital, which in turn developed the most "appealing" parts of the city while destroying or neglecting other areas. This book makes a valuable contribution to tourism and heritage studies and international development.
Call Number: This is an E-Book
Publication Date: 2016-09-16
Politics and Development in a Transboundary Watershed by Joakim Öjendal (Editor); Stina Hansson (Editor); Sofie Hellberg (Editor)Water - and its governance - is becoming a global concern partly because it is turning into a goods in short supply, with devastating effects on literally billions of people, but also because it is the "carrier" of global warming; whether through irregular weather patterns or through flooding, water is how global warming will be 'felt'. The lion's share of the globally available fresh water resources is to be found in transboundary systems. In spite of its significance, the generated knowledge on how to deal with transboundary waters is weak and leaves policy makers with seemingly unavoidable, trade-off dilemmas and prioritizations, often with detrimental effects. In order to disentangle this predicament this volume works with one case: the Lower Mekong Basin and covers state-of-the-art academic and practitioners' knowledge and hence appeals to a wide audience. The topic this volume addresses is situated in the nexus of an IR- (International Relations) approach focussing on transboundary politics and its inclination to remain within the sphere of state sovereignty and national interest on the one hand, and Development studies, with its imperatives on participation, planning, and intervention, on the other. The dilemma, we argue, of better understanding transboundary water management lies in how to understand how these two rationalities can be simultaneously nurtured. Audience: This book will be relevant to scholars, as it provides cutting-edge research, and students, since it covers the primary debates in the field, interested in resource management, regional politics, and development issues in the area. It also addresses the global debate on transboundary water management and presents an in-depth case of one of the globally most sophisticated attempts at pursuing sustainable river basin management. Finally, practitioners and policymakers would benefit greatly because all contributions have explicit policy relevance, launching suggestion on improvements in water management.
Need to know it all? Our all-inclusive culture report for Laos will get up to speed on all aspects of culture in Laos, including lifecycle, religion, women, superstitions & folklore, sports, holidays & festivals, and etiquette.
Doing a Dam Better: the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Story of Nam Theun 2 by Ian C. Porter (Editor); Jayasankar Shivakumar (Editor)In the wake of an acrimonious debate on big dams, the World Bank brokered a global agreement on financing as well as on the sharing of the rewards and risks of the controversial Nam Theun 2 hydroelectric project in Lao PDR. Through this process, it prepared the project for the country and the country for the project. This book describes how careful management, effective communications, and technical expertise helped to reach consensus and nurtured private-public partnerships, engaged stakeholders, strengthened the country's development framework and poverty reduction efforts, and addressed the project's environmental and social impacts.
Factiva have many content types includes newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs, podcasts, websites, and newswires like Dow Jones and Reuters. Search in English, or another language of your choice. Find listed Singapore and international companies information under Companies/Markets.
Use this database to gain access to analyst reports and forecasts for both economic and political aspects. The reports examine and explain issues shaping the countries, including the political scene, economic policy, domestic economy, sectoral trends, and foreign trade and payments.
Use Business Monitor International (BMI) Research to locate SWOT analysis, risk/reward ratings, macroeconomic forecasts and brief company profiles for countries in Asia and the Middle East. Use the data and forecast feature to compare geographies and indicators to perform analysis and generate charts.
The Doing Business project provides objective measures of
business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational level.
This section provides useful links to the Laos tourism social media.
Social Media (Laos Simply Beautiful)
Learn the top 20 travel phrases which will aid you while travelling around Laos.
This student shares his experiences living in Laos compared to living in Thailand.
Acceptable Use Policy
Electronic resources (e.g., databases, datasets, e-journals, e-books and streaming audio/video) provided by the SMU Libraries are governed by license agreements that restrict use to current students, faculty and staff of SMU and the Singapore Copyright Act.