The majority of Lao people are devout Buddhists and when visiting temples you should be careful to respect the beliefs of the people in the land you are visiting. Correct behavior when visiting temples requires that you dress neatly, (no shorts or singlet/vest tops or revealing clothing for men or women). Shoes must be removed before entering religious buildings, and females are not allowed to touch monks. The Buddha image is considered sacred so please avoid posing in front of them for photographs and definitely do not touch, climb or sit upon them.
If you happen to visit a Lao home (it’s not unusual to be invited), please be aware that shoes are not worn inside and should be removed at the door. If you are invited in, even for a brief visit you will probably be offered a drink of water or tea or lao lao (local rice-wine whiskey). It is very impolite to refuse so at least a sip or taste of what is offered is required to avoid offense.
Light, comfortable clothing, and good walking shoes are beneficial. Lao people dress modestly and revealing clothing is disrespectful and can cause offence. Temples and some tourist sites do not permit shorts above the knee or singlet/vest tops and request that you dress neatly. Shoes are normally removed when entering temples, some shops and local homes, so when around town sandals or thongs (flip-flops) that can be easily removed are recommended. Between November and February it can get quite cool in the mountains and the north, especially in the evenings, so some warm clothes are required.