Lao People's Democratic Republic
ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ
Motto: "ສັນຕິພາບ ເອກະລາດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ເອກະພາບ ວັດທະນາຖາວອນ"
"Peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity"
Anthem: Pheng Xat Lao
"Hymn of the Lao People"
and largest city
|Official scripts||Lao script|
|Government||Unitary communist and single-party state|
|19 July 1949|
|9 Nov 1953|
|236,800 km2 (91,400 sq mi) (83rd)|
• Water (%)
• 2009 estimate
|6,800,000  (104th)|
• 1995 census
|26.7/km2 (69.2/sq mi) (177th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2010 estimate|
|$15.693 billion (130th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2010 estimate|
|$6.341 billion (137th)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2010)|| 0.497|
low · 122nd
|ISO 3166 code||LA|
Laos is landlocked (it does not have a coast on a sea or ocean). It is bordered by Myanmar (used to be known in English as "Burma") and by China to the northwest, by Vietnam to the east, by Cambodia to the south and by Thailand to the west. The Mekong river forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand. Boats from Laos cannot get to the ocean using the Mekong because of rapids and waterfalls in the south of the country.
Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. The country is slightly smaller than Romania and Colorado. The landscape is mostly rugged mountains. The highest is Phou Bia at 2,818 metres (9,245 feet). The Mekong River forms the border with Thailand. The mountains of the Annamite Range form the eastern border with Vietnam. The climate is tropical. The rainy season is from May to November. The dry season is from December to April. Laos has three seasons (rainy, cold and hot). The capital and largest city is Vientiane.
Fa Ngum created the first unifed Lao Kingdom.
Lao became a French colony. In 1949 it became independent from France, as the Kingdom of Laos. Later there was a civil war, and in 1975 it became a One-party state under the leadership of the communist party.
Laos is divided in 16 provinces and one prefecture.
|5||Hua Phan||Xam Neua||16,500||322,200|
|7||Luang Namtha||Luang Namtha||9,325||150,100|
|8||Luang Phrabang||Luang Phrabang||16,875||408,800|
Government and politicsEdit
Laos is one of the world's five remaining communist states. The only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The head of state is President Choummaly Sayasone. He is the General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
Shortly after the end of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) joined forces with the Pathet Lao, started a coup on December 2, 1975 to overthrow the royalist Lao government, and established a communist government that continues to run the country to this day.
The head of government is Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong. Government policies are determined by the party. Important government decisions are checked by the Council of Ministers.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Laos.|
- "Background notes – Laos". US Dept. of State. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Laos". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
- "Human Development Report 2009. Human development index trends: Table G" (PDF). The United Nations. Retrieved 5 October 2009.
- "The World Factbook: Laos". 1 March 2011. CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Laos country profile". 7 February 2011. BBC News. Retrieved 12 March 2011.