- We strongly recommend having a good health insurance and carrying a good first aid kit. In general there is a lack of well-trained medical help and hospitals. For minor ailments, the Vientiane International Clinic offers good service. For any major health problems we recommend going to Thailand.
- The government of Laos does not require you to have any vaccinations except for cholera if you are coming from an infected area. However, it is strongly recommended that you have yourself vaccinated against cholera, hepatitis, tetanus, and typhoid. Optional vaccinations are Japanese encephalitis and rabies.
- The best protection against malaria is to avoid being bitten in the first place. Check with your physician about taking a course of anti-malarial. If it is considered necessary given your itinerary, you might need to begin before your trip and continue for a time after you return. The greatest risk of contracting malaria is between May and October at altitudes below 3,000 ft./ 1,000 m. There is no malaria in Vientiane or Luang Prabang.
- Dengue fever, which is also transmitted by mosquitoes, is often mistaken for malaria. Its symptoms are severe pain in the joints, high fever, and extreme headache. Aside from avoiding being bitten altogether (this mosquito is active in daytime and is often a striped variety), there is no prevention available. Hospital treatment is urgently required.
- FOOD & WATER
- Although towns have access to safe water, less than a third of the countryside can claim the same. Avoid all water that hasn't been thoroughly boiled or sterilised and drink only sterilised water or soft drinks. All water and ice-cubes that are served to you in restaurants in the cities are safe for consumption. You should not eat any uncooked vegetables and do not eat any fruit that you haven't peeled yourself. Make sure that fish and meat is well cooked. Do not swim in stagnant water as you run the risk of contracting bilharzias.