Updated: Sep 29
Laos, or officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Laos is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast
Asia is at the heart of the Indochinese peninsula.
Laos is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southeast, and Thailand to the west and southwest.
Reason for Naming
The English word Laos was coined by the French, who united the three Lao kingdoms in French Indochina in 1893 and named the country as the plural of the dominant and most common ethnic group, the Lao people.
English speakers often mispronounce the word 'Laos', falsely believing that it should be pronounced with a silent 's', however, the 's' in Laos should not be silent. In the Lao language, the country's name is Muang Lao (ເມືອງລາວ) or Pathet Lao (ປະເທດລາວ), both of which literally means 'Lao Country.
The national flag of Laos was first adopted on 12 October 1945,
then readopted on 2 December 1975.
The flag consists of three horizontal stripes red, blue(double height),
and red, and a white circle in the center of the blue stripe.
The red color represents the blood shed during the internal struggle for freedom. The blue color represents wealth, and, the white circle represents the moon shining over the Mekong River.
The official and majority language are Lao, a language of the Tai-Kadai language family.
Languages like Khmu (Austroasiatic) and Hmong (Hmong-Mien) are spoken by minorities, particularly in the midland and highland areas.
French is still commonly used in government and commerce and over a third of Laos's students are educated through the medium of French with French being compulsory for all other students.
Throughout the country, signs are bilingual in Lao and French, with French being predominant. English, the language of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has become increasingly studied in recent years.
Buddhism is the dominant religion in Laos. 64.7% of the country’s population practice Theravada Buddhism.
Christians account for only 1.7% of the population, while the remaining 31.5% of the population practice other faiths including traditional indigenous religions.
Other minorities in religion are Islam, Jewish, and Christianity.
Kip (₭) (LAK).
Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
Laos' climate is tropical in most of the plains, but subtropical in the far north and mountains.
The winter monsoon, delivers pleasant weather from November to February, though it can be a little cold at night, and the summer monsoon, brings heavy rain and high humidity from May to the beginning or middle of October.
Before the rains, the months of March to May are the warmest of the year, and it is still dry, but with some afternoon thunderstorms; the summer months are less hot, with highs about 30/32 °C (86/90 °F), but with increased humidity.
April is the warmest month, with average highs of about 35 °C (95 °F) but maxima of 40/42 °C (104/108 °F) in the center-south and up to 45 °C (113 °F) in the north, which has more continentality.
In May, the temperature begins to fall in the south, but it remains extremely hot in the north, where the monsoon arrives later.
The best time to visit Laos is from November to February since it is the coolest part of the dry season.