Parents do not feel shame or hostility toward the child.
These beliefs are still respected and even reinforced under the influence of Buddhism in fact the Buddhist version of the story of creation refers to them: "in the beginning there was man, woman and kathoey." Each gender has its individual role and unique sufferings.
Although virtually everyone has a mobile phone or tablet these days with internet (and Facebook access), Internet shops are still popular in Vientiane, not only for tourists but many young Lao women and men 'video-chatting' with friends at home and overseas.
Some are looking for more than friendship with visiting foreigners. With the help of relatively cheap cosmetic surgery available in nearby Thailand, young men can be transformed into the women they already feel they are 'inside' and wanted to be from an early age.
Even by 2018, there are not that many social activities in Vientiane that either Lao or foreigners can indulge in, besides drinking Beer Lao or the local cheap but potent (and detrimental to health over time) 'Lao whisky', a white spirit known as lao kao.
There are a few public swimming pools apart from those of the better hotels; there are some bowling alleys, numerous fitness centres, cinema complex at Lao ITECC, Hash House Harriers and a few assorted social and sports clubs including rugby.
As a foreign tourist travelling alone, you will often be made a fuss of; you might be joined at or invited to share a table.