Laos (Sāthlāmalath Pasāthi Patai Pasāsunh Lāo, République démocratique populaire Lao) is a socialist republic of Southeast Asia, located on the Indochinese peninsula. The country borders Vietnam to the east and north, China to the north, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west and Myanmar (Burma) to the north-west. The capital of the country is Vientiane.
Landlocked Laos is crossed by the Mekong River, which marks the border with Burma and for a long stretch the border with Thailand. Excluding the Mekong plain which occupies the south-western part of the country, the Laotian territory is largely made up of mountains and plateaus.
A TERRITORY OF HIGHLANDS CROSSED BY A LARGE RIVER
The northern region has several mountain ranges whose peaks exceed 2,000 meters. In the Xiangkhoang plateau is the highest mountain in Laos, Phou Bia (2,820 meters).
To the east the Annamite Range marks the border with Vietnam. This chain runs parallel to the Vietnamese coast. The central region of the country is occupied by a series of limestone plateaus, such as the Khammouan Plateau. In the south lies the Boloven basaltic plateau.
Laos has a poor economy based on agriculture, the most important cultivation is that of rice, other products are cassava, potatoes, corn, tobacco, cotton, coffee. Important for the economy are freshwater fishing and breeding. Forests provide teak and other fine woods. Mineral resources are scarce which are limited to chalk, coal and tin.
- Area: 236,800 sqkm. (Arable 4%, Pastures 3%, Forests and Woodlands 53%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 40%)
- Population: 7,100,000 (2017 data) (Lao Loum 67%, Lao Theung 22%, Lao Soung 9%, Vietnamese 2%)
- State Capital: Vientiane.
- Languages: The official language is Lao. Spoken also French and Vietnamese.
- Religion: Buddhist 98%, Christian 1,5%, Muslim 0,5%.
- Currency: Kip (LAK)
- Time: UTC +7 hours.