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When visiting temples (call "Wat") you must be dressed decently and remove your shoes before you enter the religious buildings. Avoid wearing short and sleeveless shirts. Be deferential in front of objects in the pagodas.
When entering a Wat or a private home, it is customary to remove one’s shoes. In Lao homes raised off the ground, the shoes are left at the stairs. In traditional homes, one sits on low seats or cushions on the floor. Men usually sit with their legs crossed or folded to one side, women prefer solely the latter. Upon entering, guests may be served fruit or tea. These gestures of hospitality should not be refused.
Since the head is considered the most sacred part of the body and the soles of feet the least, one should not touch a person’s head nor use one’s foot to point at a person or any object. Moreover, men and women rarely show affection in public. It is also forbidden for a woman to touch a Buddhist monk.
Laotian food is based on fish, buffalo meat, pork, poultry and especially herbs. It is always being freshly prepared and not being preserved. Other than sticky rice, which can be eaten either sweet or sour, or fermented and is eaten with fingers, Laotian food is very rich in vegetables and is often browned in coconut oil.
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