Laos is one of the least understood Asian countries of the world. It is a unique and beautiful country traversed by the Mekong River. Laos is only one landlocked country in Southeast Asia bordering with Thailand, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Laos is famous for mountainous terrain, French colonial architecture, hill tribe settlements, and Buddhist monasteries, waterfalls, caves, and historical Buddhist temples.
Here are the 2o facts about Laos.
1. Laos or Lao?
People often confuse whether to say Laos of Lao, but the correct way to say “Laos” is the same as “louse”. The confusion arose because of the English version of the official name of Laos is the “Lao People’s Democratic Republic,” or Lao PDR, for short.
Lao pronunciation comes when referring to something pertaining to Laos, even a person such as Lao coffee, Lao Beer, Lao people, Lao tradition.
2. Sticky Rice
Lao people eat more sticky rice than any other countries in the world. The locals roll it into balls in the palm of their hand and then dip it in delicious sauces.
3. Landlocked, yet, Thousands of Islands
Although Laos is a landlocked country, it has got thousands of islands. Laos lies one of the most incredible natural attractions en route of the Mekong River – Si Phan Don. The Mekong River is more commonly known as The 4000 Islands. So, a tropical beach holiday in Laos is an excellent choice for beach bums.
4.The ‘Land of a Million Elephants’
In one point of time, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants, though today their numbers have decreased to between 400 and 600, with more elephants used in logging industry than found in the wild. Sanctuaries such as the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sainyabuli Province give you a chance to spend time with them, learning to ride, bathe and feed them in an ethical manner.
5. Lao Coffee
If you drink strong coffee then Laos is the best place for you. People here drink strong coffee called Lao Coffee. In fact, coffee is the country’s biggest farming export.
Beer is the most common cocktail drink in the country. Most of the people in the party, gathering seems to be drinking beer. In fact, beer is quite cheap in the country. The majority of the beer industry is dominated by the local beer called Beerlao.
7. The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia
Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. However, Laos recently referred to as ‘land-linked’ rather than ‘land-locked’ as Laos is a land bridge which can offer the most direct land transport routes between its neighbors.
8. The Oldest Modern Human Fossil
The oldest modern human fossil in the world was found in a cave in North Laos. Word on the street suggests it’s 46,000 years old.
Lao people use Lao kip as their currency. But also accept Thai Baht and US dollar.
10. You Drive to the Right
Different country has own rule when it comes to the driving side. Lao people drive to the right.
11.No Helmet? No Problem
Most of the Lao people don’t wear a helmet while driving motorcycles. Although it is compulsory, there are many men and women we see are driving without a helmet.
12. Lao People Don’t Rush
One thing that I noticed in Laos is people here are very relaxed.
13. Thai Influence
Being a neighboring country, Thailand and Laos share many things. The Thai and Lao languages are very closely related, so much so that Laos speakers can understand Thai and vice-versa. Their script also looks similar. Not only language, but also food, tradition, and other systems are similar.
You see very less public transportation in the city whether you are in capital Vientianne of other tourist cities. Tuktuk or taxi is a very common way of transportation.
Lao people use Type C plug.
If you are drinking beer or any other drinks with Lao friends, you should have to do cheers every time you lift up your glass. This is Lao culture.
17.Relaxed and Peaceful
Having only over 7 million population, Laos is a very calm and peaceful country. The peacefulness starts right from the airport as there are very fewer passengers you see at the airport.
One thing about Laos is Bomb Shells are everywhere that came from the USA during the Vietnam war (Appx. 260 Million tonnes of the bomb dropped in Laos). Laos is the most bombed countries per capita in history. We see the shell casing recycled in some places in the country as I saw in Luang Prabang.
19. Laos Ethnicity
Laos is made up over 7 Million people and has 3 main groups, but split in ot 48 ethnic minorities, each of them has their own dialect. Among them, 53% ethnic Lao, 11% Khmu, Hmong 10%, and rest of others are tribes as well as an incredibly, small community of Europeans mostly French origin.
20. The Mighty Mekong
The mighty Mekong River instills life into the country of Laos. The Mekong is called ‘Mae Nam Khong’ by the locals and can be directly translated to ‘Mother of all rivers’. The Mekong assists with generating electricity, irrigation as well as fishing for local people. Not only this but the Mekong also offer viable forms of transportation, trade goods, imports, and exports for Lao people.
Some Photos of Laos ©bikashrai
If You Visit Luang Prabang, Don’t Miss This Place
Luang Prabang Bio Bamboo is one of the must-visit local restaurant run by Singthong Sengsuda and Nud Sengsuda. This is restaurant is located in right in the bank of the Nam Kham river with the spectacular view of the river and bamboo garden. Here, you can enjoy local foods and also find different bamboo products. For those who love peace and quiet place for hanging out with friends this place definitely for you.
🎯Ban Phasuk, Luangprabang, Laos.
☎️Tel: +856 20 23866866,