Ancient cities and hill tribe villages powered by the mighty Mekong River.

Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia located east of Thailand and north of Cambodia. Its neighbors also include Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, and China. Laos has a tropical climate, it is heavily forested, and it is known for its mountainous terrain. The highest point is Phou Bia at 2,817 meters. The Mekong River runs through the country and forms the borders with Thailand and Myanmar

Laos was once part of the Khmer Empire, and later the Kingdom of Laos. Today, the government system is a single-party socialist republic. The official language of Laos is Lao, a tonal language of the Tai family. The written language uses the Lao alphabet, which is derived from the Khmer alphabet.

Visitors come to Laos to see the Mekong River, the limestone karst formations in Vang Vieng, and the ancient city of Luang Prabang. Laos is also known for its Buddhist temples, French colonial architecture, and hill tribe villages.

Laotian cuisine is similar to that of Thailand and Vietnam, with a heavy reliance on rice and fresh herbs. Lao dishes are often spicy, and use a lot of fresh ginger, lemongrass, and chili peppers. Common dishes include laap (minced meat salad), tam mak houng (a spicy green papaya salad), and khao soi (a coconut curry noodle soup).

Best places to visit in Laos

Articles about Laos

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