Moving to Laos

Boat on River in Laos Some old Thai hands have started taking a long hard look at Laos. Many claim that it's how Thailand was 20 years ago. Getting a retirement style visa is difficult, but some expats actually see that as a good thing.

Map of Laos

Laos has some laws that are regularly enforced to keep sex tourists at bay. Those laws make living with a Lao woman outside of marriage a criminal offence.

There also seems to be a movement to refuse marriage permits when older foreigners apply to marry much younger women.

Lao People

Most visitors to Laos claim that Lao people tend to be friendlier than Thais .. and that friendliness is genuine rather than commercial. Part of that could be less exposure to commercial tourism.

Lao Culture

While the official language of the Lao population is different than Thai, if you speak Thai you can make yourself understood. A number of Laos also speak French and/or English.

Laos has a number of ethnic minorities. The largest would be the Hmong people.

Price Level

Prices will be generally cheaper in Laos than in Thailand. Of course, you won't be able to rush out and buy a condominiums as easily.

Lao Food

Much of the food in Laos will be similar to Northeastern Thailand aka Isarn. Unless, of course, it has a strong French influence.

Lao beer is considered good by Southeast Asian standards. French wine is much cheaper than in Thailand.