Fancy boosting your knowledge of this truly fascinating country? Take a look at these 23 facts about Laos!
- Laos is a mountainous, landlocked country in southeast Asia.
- In fact, it is the only landlocked country in southeast Asia!
- Previously under French rule, Laos gained full independence in 1954.
- It is bordered by China to the north, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) to the west.
- Looking to set up camp in the wonderfully dense forests of Laos? Head for the coordinates of 17.9667° N, 102.6000° E for your very own Laotian adventure!
- The terrain here is mostly mountainous and rugged, intersected by plains and plateaus.
- The total land area of Laos is 91,429 square miles (236,800 square kilometres)…
- …that’s slightly smaller than the UK.
- Laos’ population was 6,911,544 in 2015…
- …that’s around 1/10th the UK population!
- Residents here are known as Laos or Laotians.
- The capital is Vientiane; it covers an area of 1,514 square miles (3,920 square kilometres) and had a population of 997,000 in 2015.
- Laotians enjoy a tropical monsoon climate with a dry season from December to April and a rainy season from May to November.
- Laos boasts a variety of wildlife, including elephants, turtles, rhinos, tigers, tortoises, snakes, leopards, gibbons, pheasants and even beetles!
- The Khone Phapheng waterfall on the Mekong River is the widest waterfall in the world, measuring up to 14km (8.7 miles) wide during the monsoon season!
- The official language of Laos is Lao, although French and English are also spoken here, amongst lesser known ethnic languages.
- If you fancy a drop or two of Lao Lao (rice whiskey), you’ll need to exchange your GBP for Laotian Kip, the official currency here.
- Laotians live for an average of 64 years.
- In Luang Prabang, bars and restaurants close at 11.30pm every night and most guesthouses operate a midnight curfew for tourists; this is in place so that locals and visitors can rise early in the morning to distribute alms (offerings such as money or food) to the monks!
- Laos grows vegetables, sweet potatoes, tobacco, cotton, peanuts, corn and coffee; they also rear water buffalo, cattle, poultry and pigs here.
- Its industry consists of timber, copper mining, tin mining, gypsum mining, tourism, agricultural processing and electric power.
- Laos exports wood products, electricity, coffee, tin, gold, copper and garments.
- If you’re planning on heading to Laos for a relaxing retreat, let your friends and family know that they can make cheap calls to Laos with Cherry Call – you’ll also need the international dialling code of 00856.
For all the latest Laotian news, head over to the Vientiane Times website.