Laos is a developing nation with challenges affecting daily life that you may not face at home.  We ask all volunteers to come out with a flexible and open-minded attitude to make sure you have the best experience.  While we plan and endeavour to make your trip run as smoothly as possible, sometimes there are things that are completely out of our control.  While it may be difficult to accept things haven’t gone according to plan, the ADRA Laos staff will do their very best to help you achieve your purpose in Laos.

Laos is safe for independent travel and the Laotian people are extremely helpful.  However, it is important to have your wits about you as you would in your own country.  While pick-pocketing is not common, there is no need to draw attention to yourself – use common sense and discretion.

Free time and sightseeing is scheduled into your itinerary where it is possible – we wouldn’t want you to miss out on the chance on the spectacular beauty of the Laos or the opportunity to pick up a few souvenirs!!

Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with its weather separated into two distinct weather seasons: a dry season and a wet season.  The dry season lasts December to April, with the earlier months cooler and the later months hotter.  The rainy season starts in May and continues through to November.  Generally, the weather is cooler in the higher altitudes in the north and east, and warmer in the valleys and along the rivers of the west and south.

Food is an integral part of Laotian culture, and like the majority of the other Southeast Asian countries, rice is the staple food.  In Laos, sticky rice is the most common variety found.  Fresh vegetables are an important part of the diet, and the cuisine includes lots of herbs, spices, tropical fruits, salads and soups.  There is also often a discernible French influence as a legacy of the colonial past.  Laotian food can be quite spicy and bitter, compared to that of its neighbours, so be warned!  Specific dietary requirements may also be difficult to provide for, so plan ahead.