People have lived in the Laos area for at least 10,000 years. The first settlers of Laos were the Lao people from Yunnan, China. Fa Ngum founded the first Lao kingdom, called Lan Xang, which means “the Kingdom of a Million Elephants.” In the late 18th century, the Siamese people took over Laos. Then in the late 19th century, French colonists took control of the area. During World War II, Laos was occupied by Japan. After the war, Laos became involved in the French-Indochina War. In 1954, Laos gained independence from France, but the country continued to have internal struggles and conflicts. Laos also became entangled in the Vietnam War, which lasted from 1964 to 1975.
The national flag of Laos was first adopted on October 12, 1945, and re-adopted on December 2, 1975. It is a horizontal triband of red-blue-red with a white circle in the center.
Laos is a landlocked country on the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Laos is a very mountainous country with dense forests.
World Land Mass Ranking: 84th
Highest Mountain: Mount Bia, 2,818 m (9,245 ft).
Longest River: Mekong River, 4,350 km (2,703 mi).
Laos Population: 7.6 million (as of 2023)
Capital City: Vientiane
Capital City Population: 721,000 (as of 2023)
Laos has a tropical climate. The country’s high humidity and rainfall mainly comes from the southeast monsoon. Laos has two seasons: a rainy season from May to mid-Ocober and a dry season from mid-October to April.
Like other Southeast Asian countries, the Lao diet is based on rice. Sticky rice is a staple of Lao cuisine, and Laos has the highest sticky rice consumption per capita in the world. Many things are served with sticky rice including dips, parboiled vegetables, salad, soups, fish, and meat. Larb (a meat-based salad flavored with mint leaves, chili, fish sauce, and lime), is the national dish of Laos.
Like many other countries, football is the most popular sport in Laos. The Laos national football team was established in 1954, but they haven’t competed in any international competitions. The national sport of Laos is called Sepak Takraw, which is a kind of kick volleyball that originated in Malaysia in the 15th century.
There are many different ethnic populations in Laos, and over 90 distinct native languages. Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world, and most families live and farm in rural communities near the river. The largest religion in Laos is Theravada Buddhism, followed by Animism. Literature, weaving, sculpture, woodworking, architecture, music, and dance are all important parts of Lao culture.
10 facts about Laos
1. Laos has many waterfalls and caves.
2. The Lao currency is called Kip.
3. There is a midnight curfew throughout Laos.
4. Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia.
5. The average life expectancy in Laos is 68 years.
6. Laos mountains are filled with precious minerals.
7. The elephant is the national animal of Laos.
8. Coffee is one of Laos’s main agricultural exports.
9. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Laos.
10. Laos jungles are home to amazing wildlife.