Tap Water Safety in Laos

Last UpdateApril 8, 2021 12:53 pm

How do People In Laos Rate The Tap Water?

Travellers and residents of Laos have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data. A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.

Tap water ratings

  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 46% Moderate
  • Water Pollution 73% High
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 54% Moderate
  • Water Quality 27% Low

Can you drink the tap water in Laos?

The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in Laos (source). Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.


Pakse is a good place to rent and plan a trip around the deep south (know as 'the southern loop') to places like Tad Lo (a multi-tiered waterfall with an old rustic village built next to it), Sekong and Attapeu; all are very possible to do on a simple 110cc scooter as all the roads are paved, quiet and in generally good condition.
Tap water is not drinkable, but bottled water is cheap and widely available.


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

Sources and Resources