Laos Guide

Laos Guide

Laos – country information

Country name Laos
Official name Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Capital Vientiane
Continent Asia
Area 236,800 km2
Population 6,580,800 (2013)
Foundation of a state 7/19/1949
The highest mountains Phou Bia 2820 m
Longest rivers Mekong 4500 km (in the country 1350 km)
State system a republic with a one political party system and a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Vientiane (capital) 525,000, Savannakhét 140,000, Louangphrabang 90,000
Official language Laotian
Ethnicity/National Composition groups Lao 68%, Mon-Khmer 16.5%, Tai 7.8%, Miao and Yao 5.2%, others 2.5%
Religious affiliation Buddhist 60%, traditional faith 32%, no religion 5%, Christian 1.5%, Muslim 1%, other 0.5%
Currency 1 kip = 100 ats
gross domestic product (GDP) US$2,847 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 55.49 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 52%, mining and industry 16%, construction 4%, services 28%

Laos – Neighboring States

State Capital Area Population
Burma (Myanmar) Naypyidaw 676,578 km2 53,259,000
China Peking 9,640,820 km2 1,363,350,000
Cambodia Phnom Penh 181,035 km2 15,135,000
Thailand Bangkok (Krung Thep) 513,115 km2 65,926,261
Vietnam Hanoi 331,689 km2 89,708,900

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.

Laos (Land of a Million Elephants and a White Umbrella) is a state in Southeast Asia. Shared borders in the west with Thailand, in the east with Vietnam, in the south with Cambodia, in the north with China, in the northwest with Myanmar.
The capital is Vientiane. The official language is Lao. Religion – Buddhism. Currency – Laotian kip.

The state has no access to the sea. The climate is subequatorial monsoon.

Laos has spent a long time in wars and isolation. in spite of, or maybe that’s why, today the country can be proud of the most untouched nature in all of Southeast Asia, a well-preserved culture and, it seems, the most calm and balanced people on the planet. All this has helped that modern Laos is quickly becoming one of the popular tourist destinations and is rapidly earning the status of a cult place.

Resorts and attractions of Laos

The Lao state is simply overflowing with numerous religious sites, temples, pagodas, stupas. And besides the existing ones, there are also many temples here, lying in picturesque ruins. Among these ruins you can find not only Buddhist monasteries, but also Khmer temples and buildings of other ancient peoples.

Vientiane attractions. Ruins of Wang Sang Temple. Buddha Museum in the royal temple of Wat Phra Keo (Ho Pha Keu) The temple was built in 1565 and had one purpose – to serve as a worthy repository of the statue of the emerald Buddha.

The beautiful Lao city of Luang Prabang famous for its numerous religious buildings. The famous monasteries of Luang Prabang – Wat Pha Mahathat and its smaller neighbor Wat Aham, located a short distance from the city center. Both places of worship are more than a few hundred years old, but they look like they were built just yesterday.

Interesting facts

In the national Lao domain (.la), citizens and organizations of any country since 2001 can register their domains without restrictions. This internet domain has been sold by the country to Los Angeles.

Country data

Location: Southeast Asia

Time zone: CET + 6 (during summer time: CET + 5)

Total area: 236,800 km²

Land area: 230,800 km²

Water area: 6,000 km²

Length of the state border: 5,083 km

Bordering countries are accounted for:
China: 423 km
Cambodia: 541 km
Myanmar: 235 km
Thailand: 1,754 km
Vietnam: 2,130 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Vientiane

Provinces: 17
Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan (Vientiane), Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xekong, Xiangkhouang

Electric current: 230 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 856 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Phu Bia 2,817 m


Population: approx. 6.8 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.6% per year

Population density (inh. Per km²): 29

Life expectancy: 62 (male), 66 (female)

Official language: Lao


  • 67% Buddhists
  • 33% other


The climate is tropical and hot. Only in the higher regions is it a little cooler.

In the capital, temperatures rise to over 40 ° C in April and May.

The humidity is always very high. It rains a lot. But especially in the monsoon season (June-October) there is heavy rainfall.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: Kip (LAK)

Classification: 1 Kip = 100 Att (is no longer used)

ATMs: not available

International credit cards: These are very rarely accepted.

Regulations: Foreign currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts. A declaration is required from an equivalent value of $ 2,000.

The import and export of the local currency is prohibited.

As a foreign currency, it is recommended to bring small denominations of US dollars. The notes should be as undamaged as possible and issued after the year 2000.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Personal jewelry up to a total weight of 500 grams can be carried duty-free.

The export of Buddha images is not allowed.

Travel advice

Armed robberies continue to take place in the countryside and in some cities. You should therefore not travel alone and only be accompanied by a local guide.

Behavioral advice

When renting motorcycles or mopeds, you should never leave your passport as security. In the event of theft or damage to the rental property, an arbitrary amount is often requested, without which the passport will not be returned.

The roads across the country are in very poor condition. It is therefore advisable to pay particular attention when driving.

Speedboats often run on waterways, but they are very dangerous. There are very often fatal accidents. Traveling with the slower boats is much safer.


Agriculture primarily serves the self-sufficiency of the population and is the most important branch of the economy. Mainly cotton, coffee, rice and tobacco are grown.

Although there are natural resources, the industry necessary for them is undeveloped.

Industries: building materials, power generation, gypsum and tin mining, wood processing, agriculture

Natural resources: gypsum, gold, wood, hydropower, tin

Land use:

  • Usable land: 3%
  • Grain cultivation: 0%
  • Pasture area: 3%
  • Forests: 54%
  • other: 40%


Over half of the country’s area is forested. Oak, pine, bamboo and sandal trees are the most common.


There are still many different animal species in the large forest areas. The big animals include monkeys, elephants, rhinos, leopards and tigers.

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