People don't take trips - trips take people.
— John Steinbeck, 1902 - 1968
EN
EN

Laos

Background

Laos

Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th Century under King FA NGUM. For 300 years Lan Xang had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as over all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the domination of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy and instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Vietnam. A gradual, limited return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1988. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997. In late 2009, Thailand returned to Laos about 3,000 Hmong residing in refugee camps.

About

Laos , officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), is one of the poorest nations in South-East Asia. A mountainous and landlocked country, Laos shares borders with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China to the north.

Read more about Laos in our Laos travel guide »

Featured journals from

Laos

25 Days of Laos

by wanderingshutterbug

A 25-Day Journey Around Laos On Mustafa (A Sleek Black Honda FTR)

Apr 2011 - May 2011  »  Vietnam | Laos

Featured hotels in

Laos

LaosSatri House 

057 Phothisarath Road
Ban Thatluang
Luang Prabang 85671
Laos

Price (US$): $230 - $400 / night

Check rates »

Location. Satri House is located in central Luang Prabang, close to Wat Mai, Royal Palace Museum, and Royal Palace. Nearby points of interest also include Phu Si and Night Market. Hotel Features. Satri House features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and complimentary bicycles. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. Guest parking is complimentary.… more »

LaosHotel de la Paix Luang Prabang 

Manomai St, Ban Mano
Luang Prabang 0600
Laos

Price (US$): $368 - $369 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central Luang Prabang, Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang is near the airport and close to Phu Si, Wat Mai, and Royal Palace Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Royal Palace and Night Market. Hotel Features. Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel also has a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/cafĂ©. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include an… more »

LaosThe Luang Say Residence 

4-5 Ban Phonepheng
P.O.Box 507
Luang Prabang
Laos

Price (US$): $324 - $500 / night

Check rates »

Location. The Luang Say Residence is located in Luang Prabang, close to Wat Mai, Phu Si, and Royal Palace Museum. Nearby points of interest also include Royal Palace and Night Market. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. The property has a shopping center shuttle, which is complimentary. Complimentary guest parking is limited, and available on a first come, first… more »

LaosLe Palais Juliana 

Chao Phetsalath Street., Ban-Sangkalok
Luang Prabang
Laos

Price (US$): $149 - $150 / night

Check rates »

Location. Le Palais Juliana is a business friendly Luang Prabang resort in the mountains and close to Wat Mai, Royal Palace Museum, and Phu Si. Additional points of interest include Royal Palace and Night Market. Resort Features. Le Palais Juliana's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves a complimentary full breakfast. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool.… more »

LaosAMANTAKA 

55/3 Kingkitsarath Road
Ban Thongchaleun
Luang Prabang
Laos

Price (US$): $800 - $1700 / night

Check rates »

Amantaka is a boutique hotel and located in the centre of the UNESCO world heritage site. There are many tourist attractions such as : BUddhist temples, old colonial buildings, festivals, cultural rituals, waterfalls, caves and weaving villages. These places draw many tourists to Luang Prabang. more »

Browse more hotels in Laos »

Laos

Full name
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Capital
Vientiane
Location

Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates

18 00 N, 105 00 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than Utah

Border countries

Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Climate

tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

Terrain

mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus

Lowest point

Mekong River 70 m

Highest point

Phu Bia 2,817 m

Natural resources

timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones

Population

6,368,162 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Lao 55%, Khmou 11%, Hmong 8%, other (over 100 minor ethnic groups) 26% (2005 census)

Religions

Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other and unspecified 31.5% (2005 census)

Languages

Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages

Government type

Communist state

Independence

19 July 1949 (from France)

National holiday

Republic Day, 2 December (1975)

Chief of state

President Lt. Gen. CHOUMMALI Saignason (since 8 June 2006); Vice President BOUN-GNANG Volachit (since 8 June 2006)

Head of government

Prime Minister THONGSING Thammavong (since 24 December 2010); Deputy Prime Ministers Maj. Gen. ASANG Laoli (since May 2002), Lt. Gen. DOUANGCHAI Phichit (since 8 June 2006), SOMSAVAT Lengsavat (since 26 February 1998), and THONGLOUN Sisoulit (since 27 March 2001)

Internet country code

.la

Internet users

300,000 (2009)

Airports

41 (2010)

Other countries in the region