Laos – Simply Beautiful
So what’s so special about Laos – it’s the people, the culture and the experiences that go beyond all expectations. Laos is still unspoilt – a less touristed and relatively undiscovered country packed with beautiful scenery, relaxed and friendly people, great food and stunning sights. It has a long and fascinating history of royalty, occupation and struggle for independence, awe inspiring ‘vats’ (temples) and a unique mix of French colonial and traditional architecture.
It is the most apt destination for the adventurous in heart and act.
The Lao people migrated into Laos from southern China from the 8th century onward. In the 14th century, the first Laotian state was founded, the Lan Xang kingdom, which ruled Laos until it split into three separate kingdoms in 1713. During the 18th century, the three kingdoms came under Siamese (Thai) rule and, in 1893, became a French protectorate.
A strong nationalist movement developed during World War II, but France reestablished control in 1946 and made the king of Luang Prabang constitutional monarch of all Laos. France granted semi autonomy in 1949 and then, spurred by the Viet Minh rebellion in Vietnam, full independence within the French Union in 1950.
1951 saw a civil war within Indochinese kingdoms. Geneva Agreement in 1954 and armistice in 1955 dived power amidst two factions. In 1957 the factions came together to form one nation, an agreement that broke in 1959. Soviet Union stepped in to set up a cease fire and established a coalition front. Laos continues to remain as a communist nation today.
A landlocked nation in South East Asia occupying the North West portion of the Indochinese peninsula, Laos is surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma. It is twice the size of Pennsylvania. Laos is a mountainous country, especially in the north, where peaks rise above 9,000 ft (2,800 m).
Dense forests cover the northern and eastern areas. The Mekong River, which forms the boundary with Burma and Thailand, flows through the country for 932 mi (1,500 km) of its course.
|Population:||6,803,699 (growth rate: 1.59%); birth rate: 24.76/1000; infant mortality rate: 54.53/1000; life expectancy: 63.51|
|Religion:||Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other and unspecified 31.5% (2005 census)|
Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with three main seasons. the rainy season is from May through October, when rainfall averages 127–229 cm (50–90 in). November through February is a cool, dry season. March through April is a hot, dry season, during which temperatures can be as high as 40°c (104°f). Humidity is high throughout the year, even during the season of drought.
Average daily temperatures in Vientiane range from 14–28°c (57–82°f) in January, the coolest month, and from 23–34°c (73–93°f) in April, the hottest.
|Currency:||New Kip (LAK). US$1 = LAK8,101|
|Time zone:||GMT +7 hours|