Disclaimer: I am far from an authority on this subject, but judging by the popularity of this blog’s posts relating to Lao girls and women, I will address the subject of Lao GF’s as best I can:
Actually, there’s really no such thing as a “Lao girlfriend” for a Western guy; at least in the way that Falang understand the term. You either know girls through guys or families, or you have a relationship that is more serious and formalized – either a wife or a mia noi. Both are financial arrangements and even if they don’t have a ceremony or paper to back it up, they will consider themselves your wife.
It’s not hard to find a young, beautiful Lao girl. The hard thing is not to.
By that, I mean, unless you either have a lot of money (for a minor or major wife and usually both) or you are just absolutely committed to having a Lao wife, it’s best to keep a distance; you can get close, but do not touch. A beautiful young girl will make an older man’s head spin; believe me; been there.
There are women and girls who will have sex with you on an informal basis. These are most always freelancers who you can find and often find you. You’ll need to have a room where it will be fun for both of you to enjoy and plenty of cash on hand. Just keep in mind Lao Family Law:
"Relationship with Lao citizens: Lao law prohibits sexual contact between foreign citizens and Lao nationals except when the two parties have been married in accordance with Lao Family Law. Any foreigner who enters into a sexual relationship with a Lao national risks being interrogated, detained, arrested, or fined. Lao police have confiscated passports and imposed fines of up to $5,000 on foreigners who enter into unapproved sexual relationships. The Lao party to the relationship may be jailed without trial. Foreigners are not permitted to invite Lao nationals of the opposite sex to their hotel rooms; police may raid hotel rooms without notice or consent."
Some interesting comments I’ve read concerning this law are as follows:
“It isn't enforced so much nowadays. Back when
Vientianewas a large village rather than a city it was risky to be in the same house in the evening. Nowadays it's a bit different as the city has grown, along with foreign investment, meaning a lot more foreigners here."
"Around 8 years ago I was caught with a Lao girlfriend staying at my place, fined 500USD (after much negotiation) and held for a few hours in a cell. The stories of being deported etc... are mainly old barstool fairytales.”
“The law is still in place… and you still hear of occasional arrests, but it's not as risky as it used to be.... unfortunately.”
“According to a foreigner friend residing in
Vientiane, his gf arrives at midnight and leaves before 6 am.”
I’ve also read that if you’re on the bad side of the police or military, they are apt to watch you, to catch you violating this law. Also, it’s not just a city thing. There are guys up-country who make sure to stay on good terms with the local Pooyai Bann (village headman) for fear he may want to make some kick-back money at your expense. No matter what you're doing or not, always stay on good terms with your guesthouse manager/owner and all authorities.