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Laos Facts





Where is Laos located?
Lao People's Democratic Republic is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It has an estimated population of 6.8 million inhabitants. It is bordered by Burma and People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west.

What is the capital of Laos?
Vientiane is the capital of Laos. It became the capital of the country in 1563 due to fears of Burmese invasion. The capital city is situated on the Mekong River, and has an estimated population of 754,000 inhabitants.

Which is the largest city of Laos?
Vientiane, apart from being the capital of Laos, is also the largest city of the country. The name of the city is derived from Pali, meaning “royal sandalwood grove” or city of sandalwood. It was settled in 9th century AD.

What is the currency of Laos?
Lao Kip is the currency of Laos since 1952. It is further divided into 100 att. The first Lao Kip was introduced in 1945-46, just before the region came under the control of French authorities. In 1952, the Royal Kip was reintroduced, replacing the French Indochinese piastre at par.. In 1976, the Royal Kip was replaced by Pathet Lao. The exchange rate then was 20 royal kip = 1 Pathet Lao Kip. Finally in 1979, the currency was reformed and 100 Pathet Lao was replaced by one new kip.

What is the official language of Laos?
The official language of Laos is Lao, although French is still common in government and commerce. English has become popular in the region. The minorities in the country speak Khmu and Hmong.


What is the religion of Laos?
Almost 67% of the population in Laos is Buddhist. Busshism is practiced among people of the mountain tribes.
Christians are restricted to the Vientiane area, and they make up 1.5 % of the population. Rest 31.5% are unspecified, according to the 2005 census.

What is the literacy rate of Laos?
The total literacy rate of Laos is 73%. The National University of Laos is the Laos state's public university.

Who is the political leader of Laos?
Laos is a communist single-party socialist republic and has a 115-seat National Assembly, with members elected by secret ballot for five-year terms. Lao People's Revolutionary Party is the only legal political party. The president is the head of state while, the head of government is the prime minister. Lieutenant General Choummaly Sayasone was elected the president of Laos on June 8, 2006. On December 23, 2010 Thongsing Thammavong was elected the prime minister of the country.


When is the national day of Laos celebrated?
On December 2, 1975 the people of Laos finally overcame the monarchy and since then, this day is celebrated as the national day of Laos. After the end of the Vietnam war, the Communist-led Pathet Lao took the entire political control of the country and forced the King Savangvatthana to abdicate.

What is the national emblem of Laos?
The national emblem of Laos depicts the shrine of Pha That Luang. It also pictures a dam, which is a symbol of power generation, an asphalt street and a stylized watered field. On the bottom is the gear wheel and the inscription on the left reads, “Peace, Independence, Democracy” and on the right , “Unity and Prosperity”. The emblem was modified in 1991 by replacing the communist red star, hammer and sickle by Pha That Luang.

What is the economy of Laos like?
The economy of Laos is backed by IMF and ADB, and is heavily dependent on investment and trade. The GDP of the country is 6.341 billion dollars. Subsistence agriculture accounts for half of the GDP, and provides 80% of the employment. The country imports petroleum and gas and is rich in mineral resources. It exports large quantities of hydroelectric energy. The most famous product of the country is the beverage, Beerlao, which is exported to various countries, including Cambodia and Vietnam.