Laos has a population of just over six million, but Lao people are not one homogenous group: They’re made up of at least 50 distinct ethnicities and regional cultures. Most speak the Lao language, and share a relaxed and tolerant attitude in everyday interactions with people. You’ll see this laid-back approach in Luang Prabang, where locals tend to speak softly and avoid high-pressure sales tactics. Modesty in dress is important; men usually wear collared shirts and many women wear the traditional long sinh skirt. This quiet reserve does tend to melt away when people get together over a meal; and on special occasions like weddings you should prepare to hear booming music late into the night.