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Travel Insurance for Laos

Laos is a landlocked country steeped in nature, food, history, and Buddhism. Laos is wrapped in a mountainous landscape, making it one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia, even if it lacks the beaches of other countries. Adventure travel is big here. You can go zip-lining, kayaking, hiking, and cave tubing all in one day.

It used to be a popular destination for partying but, since the wild tubing days have been curtailed, it’s turned into a more relaxed, outdoor-oriented country.

If you are now preparing your packing list for Laos and wondering if you need a travel insurance for your journey or not. This article is for you.

We will help you learn from why you need a travel insurance or what risks you may encounter during your Laos trip, to how to choose the most suitable insurance plan for you and your family.

In this article, we aim to answer all the questions you may have regarding travel insurance for Laos.

First thing first, we will answer your most asked question

Do I need a travel insurance for Laos?

Travel insurance for Laos is an absolute must!

Laos, if you take common-sense precautions, is a safe place to travel but accidents happen. You’ll want to be covered for medical treatment as well as missed flights, theft, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Here is our guide for Laos Safety & Precautions

Holidays are for relaxing, de-stressing and not worrying about what could happen if…x, y, or z should occur. Buying reputable travel insurance before you go alleviates you of this worry. Make sure you check that the insurance you are buying covers you for the activities that you are planning.

If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation.

Traveling without an insurance plan is never a good idea, especially when you are traversing unfamiliar territory with rules and regulations that are different to what you know at home. Not only does an insurance plan help protect you against uncertain financial and health risks, but they also provide you with a peace of mind as you travel.

Accidents do happen and we cannot always prevent them, but if you are covered by insurance, you will not have to pay the full cost of a loss, which can come in mounting bills. And when it comes to peace of mind, this will not be just for you, but also for your loved ones back home.

Here are some of reasons you want to get travel insurance for Laos:

1. Even healthy people get sick and have accidents

Just because you’re young and healthy doesn’t mean you won’t need medical care. Accidents (often of the traffic variety) happen with astonishing frequency. Last year, nearly a dozen of my friends in Luang Prabang contracted dengue fever. Another one got bitten by an unvaccinated puppy and had to get rabies shots in Vang Vieng. Even if you’re a low-risk traveler, that’s no guarantee that you won’t get sick or hurt.

2. Medical care isn’t cheap

Many people traveling around Southeast Asia think that they don’t need to buy an insurance plan because medical care in the region is cheap; they figure they can just pay out of pocket if an emergency comes up. And that’s true for minor complaints, but if you need to stay overnight or have surgery, the cost can be in the thousands and even higher if you need to leave the country for care. Most expats familiar with the state of medicine in Laos wouldn’t dream of having even minor surgery here, and neither should you.

3. Payment for emergency care is required in advance

If for any reason you end up in the hospital, payment is always required up front. Lao hospitals have been known to let patients die rather than give them free care. So unless you have a credit card on you — and remember that purses and wallets are often stolen in traffic accidents — know that without insurance you won’t be receiving care (and even most policies require payment up front, particularly for smaller claims).

4. Medical evacuation is (very) expensive

For anything but the most minor problem, most foreigners will opt to go to Bangkok or Singapore for treatment. If you aren’t able to make it onto a plane under your own steam, you’ll need to be airlifted by helicopter, which can cost upwards of $20,000. And here, too, payment is required up front. If you need a medical evacuation back to your home country, it can cost five times that. Even flying home with a broken leg can require an expensive business-class seat.

5. Travel insurance isn’t just for medical care

Depending on your policy, travel insurance covers a range of other situations, from cancelled trips to delayed flights, from stolen cameras to lost baggage. If you end up in the hospital, your plan may cover flying a parent or partner to Laos to be with you. Many of the most important benefits of travel insurance in Laos are not medical in nature, so be sure to check your policy before you go.

10 pocket tips for buying a good travel insurance

1. Look beyond the costs

Cost should not be your only consideration when buying travel insurance. As a general rule, you should only consider policies that include $2 million for medical expenses, $1 million for personal liability, $3,000 for cancellation, $1,500 for baggage and $250 for cash.

Note that the level of excess you opt for – the part of the claim that you must meet before the insurer pays out – will affect your premium. Not all insurers allow you to adjust the excess, but the more you are prepared to pay, the lower your premium will be.

2. Consider annual cover vs single-trip

There are two main types of travel insurance – single-trip, which only covers one getaway, or annual multi-trip, which covers you for every trip you make over the course of a year.

A single-trip policy is best for people who will only go on one holiday in a 12-month period, and can cost as little as a few pounds. Annual policies can be a cheaper option if you know you’ll be going away several times in a year.

3. Family finances

If you are travelling with your partner and children, consider opting for family travel insurance – and check with your insurer to see if it will cover your children if they travel without you – on a school trip, for example.

Annual policies can be a cheaper option for multiple trips

4. Check what countries are covered

It is vital you check if the Laos and its neighbor countries, especially Thailand are covered by your policy, as not all will be included.

If you are looking at an annual multi-trip policy, be aware that insurers tend to offer European cover or worldwide cover, with the latter attracting a higher premium in most cases.

5. Get specialist cover if required

Many standard travel insurance policies won’t include high-risk activities, such as scuba diving or skiing. So, it might be worth taking out a specialist single-trip policy to cover a particular holiday.

If you are older or have a pre-existing medical condition, then you may also struggle to get travel insurance, as you are viewed as high risk. Specialist insurers – including Age UK and Saga – offer travel cover regardless of your age.

It’s vital that you are upfront and honest about any pre-existing medical complaints, even minor ones, as non-disclosure could result in your claim being rejected. Use the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) tool to find a specialist provider at

6. Maximum trip duration

If you opt for annual multi-trip travel insurance, check how many days come under your ‘maximum trip duration’. Most insurers will cover individual trips of up to around 31 days. If you are planning on being away for longer, speak to insurers directly or opt for specialist cover.

7. Driving overseas

If you plan on driving abroad, make sure you’re covered by your car insurance – some insurers do this as standard while others require you to pay extra.

8. Airline failure

Recent years have seen the collapse of a number of airlines and travel companies, so check the small print to see if you’re covered in this event. If you’re not protected as standard, you could add this extra cover for a fee.

9. Do you need cover for bags?

Before automatically including baggage cover in your travel insurance, check whether you are already covered under your home contents insurance.

10. Get cover when you book your trip

Buy your travel insurance as soon as you book your getaway. That way, if your holiday is cancelled or delayed before you head off, you can claim for it. Also check the policy document’s small print to ensure you’re covered for the total amount you paid.

Another consideration might be redundancy cover if you are concerned about losing your job.

Top topics for Laos travel insurance

You can see below the top topics that people are discussing about Laos travel insurance.

What do Laos travel insurance plans cover?

From trip cancellation to adventurous motorbiking across the country, travel insurance can be picked individually and tailored to your needs. They also come as a package that would cover just about everything. Here are the main things that travel insurance should cover for your trip to Laos.

You won’t have to pay huge medical bills

  • Injuries and accidents are alarmingly common in Laos, although your risk of hurting yourself while travelling is fairly low if you don’t ride a motorcycle or participate in extreme or adventure sports.
  • However, it’s still worth protecting yourself against the cost of medical care with insurance. A good travel insurance policy will cover most or all of your medical fees, meaning you won’t be stuck with a huge medical bill to pay if you hurt yourself while on holiday.
  • When you purchase travel insurance, it’s important to check that it provides medical coverage for all of the things you plan to do while on holiday. If you plan on renting a motorbike, it’s also important that you have the right license.
  • If you plan on scuba diving, you should also check that your policy provides covers for medical bills and evacuation in the event that you’re injured while in the water.
  • The vast majority of people have safe, peaceful and injury-free experiences in Laos. For the few that don’t, travel insurance makes dealing with the stress and costs of medical care a much easier process.

Your baggage and possessions will be protected

  • It is the fact that you need to take at least 2 flights to get to Laos, hence, the chance to miss your luggage somewhere along the way is a little bit higher comparing with Thailand or Vietnam. In such case, travel insurance makes replacing your lost or stolen items, delayed bags or other personal property-related much easier.
  • If you’re worried about losing your baggage on the way to Laos, it’s important to purchase a travel insurance policy that includes coverage for lost or delayed bags. You’ll also want to make sure you’re protected in the event that your bags or belongings are stolen or go missing.
  • Theft is rare in Laos, although some forms of transportation such as long-distance bus trips can occasionally result in missing items. Likewise, while it’s rare for items to be stolen, spending time in nightlife areas and crowded markets can attract the occasional pickpocket.
  • It’s always better to be prepared ahead of time for lost or stolen items. With a travel insurance policy, you’ll be able to replace lost, stolen or delayed items without taking a financial hit.

You’re insured for cancelled and missed flights

  • Missing a connection can have a domino effect on the rest of your travel and accommodation bookings.
  • Flight cancellations have to be substituted and these can be expensive.
  • Travel insurance coverage for delays and cancellations takes the financial stress out of these unfortunate situations.

You’re safe in emergency medical situations

  • While Laos offers a reasonable standard of medical care, more severe cases will require evacuation to Thailand or Singapore.
  • Medical evacuation can run into tens of thousands of dollars, having the peace of mind that you are covered for this if needed means that you can concentrate on getting better.
  • A good travel insurance policy will include coverage for emergency medical evacuation, letting you trek, explore and adventure with confidence that you’re in reliable hands if anything goes wrong during your holiday.
  • Although medical evacuation is available even without insurance, you could be stuck with an extreme bill — often in the tens of thousands of dollars — in the event that you face a serious injury while trekking or exploring and aren’t covered by travel insurance.

You don’t need to worry about politics

  • Laos has enjoyed many years of political stability, but things can change.
  • Should government advice warn against travel to Laos after you have booked your trip, having insurance coverage to pay for any loss you take during cancelation will help with the disappointment.
  • With a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you’ll be protected against sudden political events that can affect your trip. If there’s an airport riot, coup or terrorist attack, you can cancel your trip without having to worry about costly fees and penalties.
  • It’s important to remember that Laos is a safe country, and that events like the ones listed in the paragraphs above are rare. However, they do happen, and it’s worth making sure that you’re ready and prepared in the event that you get caught up in politics while travelling.

Take care when you party

  • Alcohol is very cheap in Laos in comparison to the West but fake alcohol is an issue, particularly with spirits. If the price of the drink is too cheap to be believed then the liquor is not to be trusted; find somewhere else to drink, it might cost you a little more, but you will save yourself more than a headache.
  • Counterfeiting also applies to drugs, recreational and otherwise. Stay away from recreational drugs; it’s just not worth it. Take some supplies with you of over-the-counter or prescriptions drugs that you might need. If you find you need something that you haven’t bought, find a reputable pharmacy.

Missing flights or cancellations cause chaos and cost money

  • Missing a connection can have a domino effect on the rest of your travel and accommodation bookings.
  • Flight cancellations have to be substituted and these can be expensive.
  • Travel insurance coverage for delays and cancellations takes the financial stress out of these unfortunate situations.

What is not covered by travel insurance?

In general, a travel insurance plan will never cover you in 2 main cases:

1. Pre-existing medical conditions 

Generally, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered. If you have a pre-existing condition, you must first get a quote to determine whether or not the condition will be covered.

While getting a quote, you need to disclose pre-existing medical conditions including recurring illnesses or injuries, on-going or lifelong conditions, previous surgeries and any conditions you are currently suffering from.

This information will then be used to determine if you need to pay any extra premium, a higher amount of money you pay towards a claim, or a medical related exclusion.

For policies where pre-existing conditions are not covered, you are covered for all the usual situations as long as they are unrelated to the medical condition you had or were aware of before you bought it.

2. They do not cover stupid

World Nomads puts this best by saying, “deliberately putting your life in danger is not covered.” This means things like picking fights with locals, racing your rental car, and even picking up a sexually transmitted disease.

If you fancy risking your neck, it is likely you will be doing it on your own dime.

Another stupid thing that you may encounter but never get covered is getting accidents when drunk. Yes, it is damming true even if your insurance plan covers these activities such as driving, scuba diving, or cliff jumping. But in case you are drunk, the coverage is NONE.

So we recommend you keep yourself in track and have the common sense of doing the right things, or you will regret for that.

How often should I buy travel insurance?

You can purchase travel insurance every time you go on a trip, or you can opt for an annual multi-trip travel insurance, which usually covers any number of trips within a certain period, usually a year. If you are a regular traveler, or you are planning a long-haul adventure, an annual insurance may work out cheaper.

It can also be the case that levels of cover, particularly for medical expenses, baggage and cancellation tend to be more generous on an annual policy. If you are a frequent traveler, it takes the hassle out of organizing insurance for every trip you take.

How to pick the right travel insurance plan?

First, reflect on your vision for the trip, decide on activities you think having insurance would be a good idea for. Or if you are unsure, opt for comprehensive plan.

Always read your policy documents carefully so you understand your coverage. You can easily search for insurances online, study the quote and fine print, and especially pay attention to:

  • What is included and excluded in the policy
  • How to contact your insurer when you are overseas
  • What paperwork or information you need to take with you
  • The monetary limits for claims on individual items and as a whole
  • The proof you might need to make a claim
  • 24/7 hotline assistance with free call number from overseas. Accidents do not have regular office hours, so your insurance should not either.

To help you in your query you can compare insurances online through dedicated websites, but in any case, double check the contract policy and coverage on the insurance provider website itself before making the purchase and contact them in case you are unsure about specific points. Below are some main insurance comparative websites: 

  • Squaremouth: This site helps you to compare 107 travel insurance policies from 22 providers with more than 45,000 reviews.
  • Insure My Trip: This is an extremely useful online insurance marketplace : Most major travel insurance companies are listed, and you can compare them and their policies side by side. You can also filter searches based on important factors such as customer feedback and more.
  • Gobear: This is an online review community. Before you make any purchase online, you can go to this site to see what other people have to say about the company or service. Then you will have the information you need to make the best purchase.

Where can you buy a good travel insurance plan?

Now that you know travel insurance is a good investment before any trip, you will be wondering which companies provide good plans.

Though some banks also offer travel insurance, the most common way that many people often buy insurance is through websites of renowned companies. They always offer many different plans for different budget levels and travel styles/dates. So you can easily choose the one most suitable to you. Some good reputable insurance companies which we recommend are: IM Global, AIA, World Nomad, AXA, …

By the way, try not to opt for the cheapest travel insurance option. Many of them do not offer what you will need. Always compare and make sure you study the plan well!

How to buy a travel insurance plan?

The purchasing process is different from each company, but generally, it will go through these 7 steps:

1. Access the site of the insurance company

You will need to make up your mind about which company has a good and sustainable plan for your trip. Then follow through to their website.

2. Choose your trip coverage

The 2 types of trip coverages are:

  • Single coverage: This is a coverage for a single trip. It is perfect for occasional travelers
  • Annual coverage: This is a whole year plan. It is suitable for those who go travel frequently, either for business or personal purposes.

3. Fill in the form

The system will ask you for some demographic information such as name, age, gender, ID number, some important dates (requested coverage effective date, departure date, return date and so on), contact information (address, phone number, email).

4. Choose your plan

Before or after you submit the form, the system will process the information. They will then send you a quotation according to their calculations. Now is the time to choose a suitable plan for your budget.

5. Review your information

It is important to check the information you provided on the form. Make sure that everything is correct.

6. Choose your payment

Fill out your payment information – payment type, card holder’s information and billing address. Do not forget to sign your name if requested.

7. Complete the purchase

After submitting the payment form, you should receive a confirmation email. Check your inbox and follow the instructions then.

Keep in Mind

Although you can buy the insurance whenever you can (even one day before your departure), I suggest you should purchase it at least a week in advance. Because due to the policy of each company, your insurance can either be verified immediately after your payment or the verification process might require 2 – 5 days.

Sometimes, it is even essential to obtain an insurance plan before you apply for a visa for certain countries. Of course, not all passports require acquiring visa in advance, but it is best to check online.
Just visit our Laos visa guide to learn more.

Although you can buy the insurance whenever you can (even one day before your departure), I suggest you should purchase it at least a week in advance. Because due to the policy of each company, your insurance can either be verified immediately after your payment or the verification process might require 2 – 5 days.

Sometimes, it is even essential to obtain an insurance plan before you apply for a visa for certain countries. Of course, not all passports require acquiring visa in advance, but it is best to check online.

Just visit our Laos visa guide to learn more.

What else?

Copy your insurance plan and give it to one or two trusted people back home who can provide the information in case you lose yours or are unable to provide it, for instance your bag got lost or unfortunately you become unconscious after an accident.

It is also advisable to keep your insurer and emergency contact details somewhere they can be easily found, such as your wallet.

Make sure you have a list of stuff you are taking on your holiday, including any receipts if possible. Also, in most cases, you will need to advance the payment of your medical care. It is therefore strongly advised that you keep every supporting document such as your hospital bills, flight ticket invoice, police reports for loss and theft... That will make any claims considerably easier.

In summary: make sure you have travel insurance. Even the most careful and well-prepared traveler cannot foresee every eventuality. Don’t take the risk of travelling without insurance – the downside is simply not worth it.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Is Laos safe to travel?

Yes, Laos is a safe place for independent travel, and many find it much safer than their hometowns in the west. There are occasional reports of petty theft, and the occasional bag snatching, but these can be avoided by being cautious with your belongings. 

It is a good idea to leave expensive jewelry and watches at home. You also may consider NOT carrying that  laptop as there are internet shops all around the country.  And never, ever leave cash or valuables unattended in your hotel room. 

Some travelers opt for money belts that can be worn inside the clothing or hanging around the neck under the shirt.

In order to make your trip safe, please follow our safety guide for Laos

Q. Is there health insurance in Laos?

To help people overcome the cost barrier, the Lao Government introduced a tax-based National Health Insurance scheme (NHI) in 2016.

NHI means that all Lao citizens can access treatment at public health facilities in 17 provinces, for very small out-of-pocket payments. Poor households identified by their village chiefs; pregnant women, children under 5 and monks are exempted from these co-payments.

Q. Which travel insurance is best?

This will depend on what activities are you going to do in Laos, and what you expect to be covered. Check “How to pick the right travel insurance plan?” above.

Q. What to pack for Laos?

Check out the full packing list for Laos

Q. Do I need a visa to visit Laos?

The answer is “YES, you do”. But Laos has one of the easiest Visa policies in the world, thanks to the development of tourism. Here is how you can apply for Laos Visa


We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Laos, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

Luang Prabang
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The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

Vang Vieng
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The ancient capital of Lane Xang Kingdom

4000 Islands
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Nong Khiaw
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Family Vacation
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Cycling & Biking
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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury Holiday
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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Honeymoon Vacation
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

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Search for your nationality below to see our special Laos travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.


Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Despite being open to tourism for the past two decades, Laos remains a destination brimming with hidden treasures and unexplored gems, awaiting the arrival of curious adventurers.

Among these remarkable places is the Xe Champhone Loop, an enchanting location that captures the essence of Laos.

In early September 2022, we had the privilege of embarking on an Educational Tour organized by the esteemed Tetraktys Organization. Our objective was to delve into the wonders of this loop and promote its allure to international tourists.

During our expedition, we were awe-struck by the captivating sights and valuable insights we gained. The area boasts an abundance of captivating natural landscapes, rich traditional culture, and warm-hearted hosts.

We have compiled comprehensive information about this captivating region below.

Stay connected to discover more about this hidden gem!


The romance of train travel is alive and well in Laos. The recently-completed high-speed railway that stretches from Vientiane, through Laos, and into southern China is operating ‘full steam’ ahead. 


Luang Prabang will celebrate the boat racing festival (Boun Souang Heua) in Namkhan River during Buddhist Lent Period, on August 26th, 2022.

A notice issued by Luang Prabang provincial office says that Luang Prabang will arrange Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, an annual festival held to feed spirits with home-made parcels of food, and the boat racing activities along Namkhan River. 

The province intends to promote the traditional festival and practices in hopes of attracting more domestic and foreign tourists, generating revenue for locals.

Traditional racing boats are made of a single tree and can accommodate up to fifty rowers.

The boats are considered sacred, are cleaned, and are given offerings which are believed to bring victory to the team.

In the downtown heart of Luang Prabang, there will also be gatherings and markets.

The festival will be held on August 26th, 2022, the same day with Boun Khao Padapdine.

Covid-19 put a stop to traditional customs and festivals for almost three years, but now that the measurements have been relaxed, tourist destinations in Laos expect to recommence festivities and offer hope for travelers.


How long to spend in Laos may seem like a ridiculous question to address, but if you have plenty of time and aren’t sure how much to dedicate, this blog will definitely help you out. 

How long can you stay in Laos? 

Well, as long as you like! From 7 days to a month, there are various ways you can travel across Laos and uncover its secrets. Advising an ideal trip length for Laos is a bit of a complex challenge, as it depends on several factors such as the places you wish to visit, the activities you plan to join, or if you want to combine Laos with its neighbor countries. 

Stay tuned! We are going to sort all these things out including the step-by-step guide to create the best itinerary in Laos.


The Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai) is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people near the beginning of the wet season in numerous villages and municipalities, in the regions of Northeastern Thailand and Laos. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians on the second day, and culminating on the third day in competitive firings of home-made rockets. Local participants and sponsors use the occasion to enhance their social prestige, as is customary in traditional Buddhist folk festivals throughout Southeast Asia.

The festival in Thailand also includes special programs and specific local patterns like Bung Fai (Parade dance) and a Beautiful Bung Fai float such as Yasothon the third weekend of May, and continues Suwannaphum District, Roi Et on the first weekend of June, Phanom Phrai District Roi Et during the full moon of the seventh month in Lunar year's calendar each year. The Bung Fai festival is not only found in Isan or Northeasthern Thailand and North Thailand and Laos, but also in Amphoe Sukhirin, Narathiwat.

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Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
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It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
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