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The Nam Song River in Vang Vieng, Laos

Living in Laos

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Mar 10, 2024

Summary: People describe life in Laos as laid-back and relaxed. Expats love the friendly locals, the stunning natural beauty, the low cost of living, and the delicious food. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,000 to $1,500 per month, depending on lifestyle. The population of Laos is approximately 7.2 million people, and the largest cities are Vientiane (the capital), Savannakhet, and Luang Prabang. The cons of living in Laos include the lack of infrastructure and modern amenities, the limited job opportunities, and the language barrier. Additionally, the healthcare system is not as advanced as in other countries, and the internet connection can be unreliable.

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What do I need to know about living in Laos?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Laos, they said:

"Before retiring in Laos, expats should be aware of the cost of living, which is generally lower than in many other countries. It is important to research the availability of healthcare and medical facilities, as well as the quality of the services provided. Expats should also be aware of the local laws and regulations, and ensure that they are compliant with them. Additionally, expats should familiarize themselves with the local culture and customs, and be respectful of them. Finally, expats should ensure that they have the necessary visas and permits to live and work in Laos," wrote one member in Laos.

"Things here run very differently. It's slow and has to be done a certain way. It's best to go with the flow. Come here with an open mind and you should be ok! Don't expect much of a nightlife as there isn't one," remarked one expat who made the move to Vientiane.

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Traveling Mailbox serves thousands of travelers, expats, digital nomads, businesses, individuals and others in over 47 Countries by scanning their postal mail so they can view it online anywhere in the world. They provide customer service 7 days a week so if you need assistance, it is just a phone call away. Traveling Mailbox works with Evernote, Bill.com and Dropbox. And, there are Traveling Mailbox apps available for iOS and Android devices.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

The Nam Song River in Vang Vieng, Laos

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