10 Typical Tourist Scams in Laos You Should Be Aware

Whenever you want to go to Laos, please remember the typical tourist scams in Laos in order that you will have a safety trips in the country. Especially if it is your first visit, well, you must be aware of any type of scams that you may experience.

The scams are potentially happening since the tourists are considered are unfamiliar with the country due to the different customs and language barriers. The scammers will make use of miscommunication as tool to easily scam the strangers.

In this regards, we write the article to share you the tourist scams that you must notice so that you can be careful anytime you visit any enchanted hot spots in Laos.

Cheap and VIP Bus Tickets

Every traveler would be interested with the cheap and VIP bus tickets, right? This kind of scam mostly occurs in an area where you want to book a bus from Thailand or Cambodia to Laos.

The bus drivers will stall their buses to wait for passengers. They will take the passengers to go to a guest house and drop them there at night. This way, the passengers must wait till the day come in the morning to continue the journey.

This is how the scammers demand you the bus fee counted based on how many hours the bus booked. Definitely, you pay higher. To avoid this type of scam, you can just find a regular bus.

Lost Laundry

If you are planning to spend some few days in Laos, it means that you need to bring your dirty clothes to laundry. This way, the scammer will just take your clothes or sell them or even wear them, if you want to take them back, certainly you must pay.

It is better to wash your clothes by yourself at night or if you tend to get them clean, make sure you count how many of your clothes you bring to a laundry. However, this is still risky.

Even though you have counted your clothes, the scammer can steal your clothes to demand you some money if you want him to return your clothes.

Get Rich Schemes

The next tourist scams in Laos you should be aware is “get rich schemes”. This kind of scam has become the scammers business in the country. Whenever you arrive at the crowded place, watch out and try to avoid the friendly strangers coming to offer anything.

It can be gemstone, cards and other goods. They have such powerful words to make you trust them. They will say anything to make you interested with their offering so that they can get money from you.

One best way to avoid these scammers’ actions is to make a quick gateway once you see them approaching you.

Roadside Selling

There are lots of scams in Laos that may not even be recognize by most visitors in their first coming. One of which is the roadside selling. This way, the salesman will swarm on you in the street on Nha Trang, the street that most scammers do their scam.

Or they will just follow you anywhere around while you walk along the street. Be aware of these people since they seems pickpocketing you as well.

One scammer will friendly talk to you so you are engaged in a very close conversation, while other scammer will pickpocket your valuable things out of your bag.

Driver Scam

Driver scam is also one of the noticeable tourist scams in Laos. This driver scam frequently occurs in a bus station or train station as well as borders where only local people know the right fares.

One friendly local driver with a very nice smile offering a vehicle or a ride is actually the scammer. They will demand you a higher price than the price should be at the end. 

Although the meter shows you the correct fare, the driver will drop at a place and charge you higher price for an extra charge for going around the block.

Remember, it is very unrealistic to be charged by a fair price in Southeast Asia. Just be aware!

Tourist Information Offices

Tourist information offices also tends to occur in LAOS especially when you just come across offices signed with “Tourist information”. These offices have a fake information. They are setup to get commission from suggesting and delivering tourist to hotels and restaurants.

If you are using their services, you are demanded to pay more because they have to pay the middle-men. This way, the scammers will say you can’t get your hotel or restaurant destination as they close.

You can just go to the places where they suggest. Thus, avoid asking the information to these offices as well as to the taxi drivers for hotels or restaurants recommendations. Definitely, they will lead you to the more expensive places.

Cheap Accommodation

The next tourist scam in Laos you should avoid is the cheap accommodation. In this concern, never expect more form anything cheap. It charges you more instead of cheap price.

The cheap hotels typically offers a package of hotels tour service, not with the accommodation. This means, you can only stay at the hotel based on your payment for hotel tours and you are unable to get accommodation. If you want to get a better service then you must pay more.

Thus, it is much recommended that you pay for a better hotel and take your own tour services instead of hotel tours.

Student Scam

Once you visit Laos, be careful of experiencing student scam. It is one of the most common tourist scams in Laos performed by young people who claim themselves as students of university.

They say, they cannot afford their education because they have lack of money. This is how they will be trying to catch your attention by asking for money to help them back to school or university.

Either in Laos or in Cambodia and Thailand, this type of scam always occurs. They scammers also insist on selling their artwork as they claim themselves as art students. You can purchase their artwork for a cheap price, but soon you will find the artworks are just the imitation.

Visa Office Scam

Is there any visa office scam in Laos? The answer is surely yes! Once you arrive at the airport, some drivers will take you to offices for a visa or other document processing just before you cross the border.

They are offering you a help to complete the forms then charging you some money for the assistance. This way, you can easily avoid the scam just by completing the documents or paperwork by yourself.

It is so easy to do that you don’t even need any assistance of somebody else.

Exchanging Money Scam

Anything can happen to tourists including the exchanging money scam. Most tourist will need to exchange money, won’t they? This is the time when the scammers can do most of their actions.

When you have finished exchanging your money, you can always count the money by yourself. Never let the scammer offers a help to count it for you or you will lose some of your money.


There are always tourist scams in Laos even you expect not. The 10 tourist scams we shared above are expected to acknowledge you when you are planning to visit Laos few days later.

Pease be aware of any scam that may happen and remember how to make a getaway.

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