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Laos Locator MapThe pace of Laos is slow and its people relaxed and friendly. Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th century under King Fa Ngum in 1354. For 300 years Lan Xang, which translates to 'The Land of Million Elephants' had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as over all of what is now Laos. 

Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam

Border countries (4): West (Burma and Thailand), South (Cambodia), East (Vietnam) and North (China)

Area: 236,800 sq km (91,428 sq miles)

Comparative: Slightly larger than Utah

Population: 7,019,073 Million (ranked 104th in the world)

Religions: Buddhist 66.8%, Christian 1.5%, other 31%, unspecified 0.7% (2005 est.)

Languages: Lao (official), French, English, various ethnic languages

Unesco World Heritage Sites (2): Town of Luang Prabang (1995) and Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape (2001)

Travel options: Tours (Women Only, Couple and Family), Custom Travel, Mekong Cruising

Sources: CIA 2017, UNESCO 2017

Popular Destinations in Laos


Vientiane is the capital of Laos and Asia's biggest village. Busy and hectic in comparison to the rest of the country, it is quiet compared with any other city in Asia. Vientiane, as all of Lao's major cities, is situated on the Mekong river which forms the lifeline of the country. Vientiane is the hub for all travel in the country. City treasures include the Patuxai Victory Monument with its similar Arc de Triomphe design that was dedicated to those killed in the fight to gain independence from France and Pha That Luang, a "real" gold-covered stupa which is the symbol of the city and the splendor of Laos.



Luang Prabang

Luang PrabangLuang Prabang is the jewel of Indochina, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The ancient royal city is surrounded by mountains at the junction of the Mekong and its tributary, the Khan river. In the center of the city is Mount Phousi with stunning views of the surrounding temples and hills. Luang Prabang is a city where time seems to stand still. As part of the UNESCO plan, new buildings have been limited and development must be in keeping with this magical place.