Laos is one of the most pristine nations in Asia as it still hasn’t been too affected by development and Western culture like most nations. Kayaking, river-rafting and biking are popular activities among tourists. The nation does have a quarter of its citizens who live below the poverty line, so volunteers are needed for many different projects in Laos.
Laos has a poor education system. Many schools have a lack of teachers, particularly when it comes to English teachers; thus there is a real need of native English speaking volunteers. As a volunteer, you will teach children English; some of these children will be young Buddhist monks.
Laos unfortunately has the distinction of being the most bombed nation in history as it was essentially a dumping ground for explosives for American fighters during the Vietnam War. As a volunteer you will mostly work to improve school facilities and making general improvements in the community.
Laos has a number of orphanages and a need for volunteers to work in them. As a volunteer you will help with administrative work, take care of the daily needs of the children, and organize activities for the children.
Know Before You Go: Laos is a nation with a strong Buddhist culture. Every Lao man is expected to be a monk for at least a short period during his life. Monks are forbidden to touch women or even speak to them outside the temple.
Best Places To Volunteer: Vientiane is the capital and economic center of Laos. Luang Prabang is in north central Laos and best known for its numerous Buddhist temples.
Health and Safety of Volunteers in Laos
As a volunteer in Laos, it is recommended that you be vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid. If you plan on spending a long time in Laos, particularly outdoors, it is also recommended that you be vaccinated for Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. For more information visit MD Travel Health.
Laos is a pretty safe nation for tourists to visit. You should be vigilant in crowded areas as there is always a threat from pickpockets.
Header photo by Bryant Cheng