Tap Water Safety in Laos

Can you drink the tap water in Laos?

In general, no.

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.

The most commonly searched cities in Laos are:

For a full list of cities in Laos, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

World Health Organization Laos Water Summary

The World Health Organization estimates that 82 percent of Laos have access to drinkable tap water.

In 2000, 5% of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 47% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.

In Laos, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 26%.

The rural availability figures at 11%

World Health Organization's 2017 Laos Water Data

The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout Laos includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.

Safely ManagedA location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.
At Least BasicSafe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location
LimitedIt would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.
YearPopulation in 1000sSafely managedAt Least BasicLimited

What Do People In Laos Think About The Tap Water?

Travelers 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.

Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility46%Moderate
Water Pollution73%High
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility54%Moderate
Water Quality27%Low

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View our tap water report on all cities in Laos

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