Laos: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)
Culture Smart! Laos offers in-depth information to visitorsseeking a genuine experience, including essential insights andadvice on local customs and lifestyle.The information, collected through research and the experience ofliving and working in this beautiful country, is also of great useto business people andprospective investors.Once known as “the Kingdom of a Million Elephants under theWhite Parasol,” Laos is a landlocked country of great contrast andbeauty in the heart of theIndochinese peninsula. Dominated by the mighty Mekong River, it hasdense forests, mountain peaks that soar above the morning mist, anda fascinatingcombination of glorious Asian temples and iconic French colonialarchitecture. This multi-ethnic land of gentle people, strugglingto survive in a sometimesharsh environment with the most basic of facilities, is attractingmore and more enthusiastic visitors each year. Formally a one-partysocialist republic, Laos hasambitious industrial development strategies and today is a memberof ASEAN and the WTO.Visitors quickly relax and enjoy the vibrancy and colour ofbustling marketplaces with their aromatic spices, tropical fruits,and huge wicker baskets containing many varieties of rice. You mayglimpse a group of monks of all ages wandering past in flowingorange robes, and later hear their chanting emanating from withinthe temple walls. Passing a line of children in school uniform,chattering and laughing noisily, you will always be greeted with agracious bow and “sabaidee.” Whatever the purpose of your visit, inLaos you will always be met with warmth, courtesy, and hospitality,and feel completely safe.