Facts about Laos
Official languages: Lao, French, English
Area: 236,800 km²
Population: 6.4 million residents
Population density: 26.89 residents per km²
Internet TLD: .la
ISO codes: LA, LAO , 418
The prefix for Laos is +856
Flag of Laos
The flag of the communist state of Laos has a rather unconventional design compared to other communist flags. Instead of a typical star, a white circle is placed on it, which is embedded in a wide blue stripe. In addition, the blue stripe is bordered by two narrower red stripes. The white circle is said to symbolize the unity of the earth or the moon shining above the Mekong River, which is represented by a blue stripe. The red color traditionally reminds of the blood shed by the local population during the battles for the homeland. The flag was created in 1945, when the independence of Laos was declared. However, it was not officially adopted until 1975. In the meantime, a red flag with three white elephants was used by the feudal kingdom.
Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Its main artery is the Mekong, which also provides the fertile plains in the river valley. See Laos Location on World Map.
Today’s Laos belonged to the French colony of French Indochina as the “Protectorate of Laos”. Independence from France in 1953 was followed by two decades of civil war and the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, Laos was neutral and there was no official United States declaration of war on Laos. Nevertheless, the US armed forces bombed Laos massively, because the Ho Chi Minh Trail ran to a significant extent over Laotian territory. More bombs were dropped on Laos than on Germany and Japan combined in World War II, making Laos one of the most heavily bombed countries in the world. After the end of the Vietnam War, the communist Pathet Lao took over power through a bloodless revolution in 1975 and proclaimed on 2.
Due to serious economic problems, Laos introduced an opening and reform policy from 1986 with the aim of realizing the gradual transition from the planned to the market economy. As part of these reforms, economic liberalization was carried out and relations with foreign countries were strengthened. Political reforms are also gradually being tackled.
Biggest Cities of Laos by Population
Laos is a Southeast Asian country located in the Indochinese Peninsula, with a population of over 7 million people. Its capital city is Vientiane which is the largest city in Laos and home to more than 800,000 people. The city is known for its French-influenced architecture, vibrant culture and lively nightlife making it a popular destination for tourists.
Other major cities in Laos include Luang Prabang located near the Mekong River and known as ‘the City of Monks’; Savannakhet located near the Thakhek Mountains and known as ‘the City of Silk’; or Pakse located on the southern side of Laos and known as ‘the City of Rivers’.
Laos also contains some smaller cities such as Phonsavan located near Plain of Jars and home to many churches; Tha Khaek located near the Nam Theun River and home to many museums; or Muang Xay located on the north-central side of Laos and known for its coffee production.
Throughout Laos there are plenty of attractions to explore including temples, monasteries, museums, national parks, beaches and monuments. Visitors can also enjoy activities such as trekking or exploring caves or take part in water sports on Nam Ngum Lake.
|5||Luang Prabang, Laos||47,489||19.886||102.135|
|6||Xam Nua, Laos||39,103||20.4159||104.048|
|7||Muang Phonsavan, Laos||37,618||19.45||103.217|
|9||Muang Xay, Laos||25,111||20.6923||101.984|
|10||Muang Pakxan, Laos||22,078||18.3826||103.659|
|11||Ban Houakhoua, Laos||15,611||20.2467||100.454|
|12||Muang Khong, Laos||15,111||14.1179||105.855|
|16||Ban Houayxay, Laos||12,611||20.2765||100.413|
|17||Muang Phon-Hong, Laos||10,223||18.4956||102.414|
|21||Luang Namtha, Laos||3,336||20.9486||101.402|
As an important road, the Mekong also connects important cities with each other and with the capital of Laos, which is called Vientiane. 600,000 people live in the capital. According to Abbreviation Finder, this city is located in the northwest and is traversed by the Mekong. Another important city that is also a World Heritage Site is called Luang Prabang and is also located on the Mekong.