Source: Vientiane Times
A number of Lao social media users have called on authorities to take immediate action to prevent the cheating of foreign visitors by some vendors at popular tourist destinations such as Luang Prabang.
A growing number of foreign tourists are travelling to Laos, especially from Thailand, since the opening of the country’s borders after the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. These tourists bring with them hope for the recovery of the Lao economy following the crisis of the past three years.
While most foreign visitors have had a great time in Laos, some of them were reportedly cheated by individuals or selfish vendors.
Luang Prabang city’s Facebook page has compiled some comments by several Thai visitors who had unpleasant experiences during their recent visits to the city.
Some visitors said they were cheated by local vendors in Luang Prabang city, a world heritage site. They contended they were charged very high prices at local restaurants, while goods meant to be given as alms to monks were overpriced.
One visitor commented he was charged 20,000 kip for a bowl of noodles, while local customers were charged 15,000 kip. He said he considered this as unfair treatment for the foreign visitors.
In response to such comments, members of the public in Laos have called on the government and relevant authorties to look into such incidents and urgently address the problems faced by visiting guests.
“This is an urgent issue for authorities at all levels to consider as a top priority, and to crackdown on opportunists who may ruin the overall image of Lao tourism. The authorities must facilitate tourists by ensuring fair and satisfactory prices for food, transport, accommodation and leisure activities,” one of the social media users commented.
At the same time, some domestic visitors shared similar experiences while visiting the almsgiving site in Luang Prabang city. They complained that some vendors were aggressive and charged customers too much for offerings.
The admin of Luang Prabang city’s Facebook page called on the public, especially local vendors, to welcome visitors, charge them reasonable prices and offer them discounts. The public should help visitors when they are in need of any kind of assistance so that they want to come back and also spread the word about their good experiences in Laos.
The people of Laos are known for their warmth and hospitality, and everyone should continue to preserve this unique generosity, especially towards visiting guests.