How it works:
- Unsolicited unofficial guides will latch on to you and point point their torchlight at random points.
- Once you reach a spot where you can’t “escape” (e.g. a dark spot in a cave; middle of a vast paddy field), an inflated “guide fee” will be demanded.
Places to beware:
- Vang Vieng: Tham Loup & Tham Hoi Caves, Tham Chang Cave
What to do:
- There may be good unofficial guides – test for a minute before committing. In general however, they are not worth it, get a licensed, reputable guide instead:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: Klook (best day tour platform in Asia) also has many popular tours (e.g. Pak Ou Cave, Kuang Si Waterfall, Tham Nam Cave, etc).