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Laos

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is a landlocked, mountainous country that is widely covered with tropical rainforests. It is bordered by China and Myanmar to the north, Cambodia to the south, Vietnam to the east and Thailand to the west.

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is a landlocked, mountainous country that is widely covered with tropical rainforests. It is bordered by China and Myanmar to the north, Cambodia to the south, Vietnam to the east and Thailand to the west.

Overview

Official Name
Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Capital
Vientiane

Independence Day
2 December 1975

Population, Territory and Currency

7,169,455 (2019)

236,800 square km

Lao Kip (LAK)
Price per meal: ~₭38,676 (SGD$5.80)

Demographics

65.8 Life expectancy
Source: World Health Organisation (2019)

36.3% Urban population
Source: United Nations (2019)

50.2% Of the population are male
Source: World Bank (2019)

19.3% Are youths aged 15-24
Source: United Nations (2019)

The Flag

The flag of Laos consists of 3 horizontal stripes, with the middle blue stripe being twice the height of the top and bottom red stripes. In the middle is a white disc representing the moon shining over the Mekong River. The blue stripe represents wealth, and the red represents the blood shed during the internal struggle for freedom.

Flag of Laos

Key Historical Events

1893

Laos becomes a French protectorate.

1954

Laos gains full independence as a constitutional monarchy. Civil war breaks out between royalists and the communist group, the Pathet Lao.

1973

Vientiane ceasefire agreement divides Laos between the communists and the royalists.

1975

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is proclaimed.

1989

First elections held since 1975. All candidates have to be approved by the LPRP. Communists retain power.

1997

Laos becomes a member of ASEAN.

Economic Profile

Lao PDR’s economy is set to grow by 6.9 percent in 2019. The economy has recently benefited from high foreign investment in hydropower, mining, and construction. Growth is driven by the expansion of infrastructure- related construction activities, electricity exports, and growth in wholesale and retail trade.

Industry

Mining
Laos is considered one of Asia’s most resource-rich nations due to the wealth of resources like lead, copper and gold.

Tourism
One of the most important industries earning vast amounts of foreign exchange. Data indicates that the tourism industry grows faster than any other industry in the country.

Agriculture
Subsistence agriculture, dominated by rice cultivation in lowland areas, accounts for about 30% of GDP and 75% of total employment.

Places of Interest

Kuang Si Waterfall
Three tiered waterfall

A favorite side trip for tourists in Luang Prabang, the waterfalls begin in shallow pools atop a steep hillside and lead to the main fall with a drop of 60 meters, flowing into a turquoise blue pool.

Pha That Luang Vientiane
Great Stupa

A gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the centre of the city of Vientiane, it is regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol.

Local Food

Larb
Widely considered as Laos’ national dish, this meat-based salad is flavored with mint leaves, chilli, fish sauce, and lime juice.

Lam
A mildly spicy and thick Lao stew containing beans, eggplant, lemongrass, basil, chili, mushrooms and cilantro.

Khao Poon
A comfort food in Laos consisting of rice vermicelli noodles in spicy soup which is made of meat, fish sauce, garlic, chili, lime and galangal.