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The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a mountainous country with
the Mekong River forming its border with Thailand.
Getting Around Laos, Land of a Million Elephants, Laos Accommodation, Laos Travel Guides,
Laos Travel Tips, Luang Prabang,
Map of Cambodia and Laos, Travel Around
Laos, Vientiane, Visiting Laos.
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Countries neighbouring Laos are: Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Myanmar
In the mid-14th century the Khmer king at Angkor, Jayavarman
Paramesvara, married his daughter to a Lao prince, Fa Ngum, and helped him found the
independent kingdom of Lan Xang - Million Elephants - with its capital at Muong Swa;
Fa Ngum, a great warrior, united the Lao principalities and was
frequently at war with both the kingdom of Ayutthaya and Annam. His Khmer queen encouraged
the Lao to adopt Theravada Buddhism.
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The capital of Laos is on the Mekong River, almost opposite Nong
Khai, Thailand. After the division of the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang into two
kingdoms in the late 17th century, Vientiane became the capital of Wieng Chan.
When the Siamese seized control of Vientiane Kingdom in 1827, the city
was virtually destroyed. A rebuilt Vientiane was made the administrative capital of the
newly created state of Laos in 1946.
In a capital with very few street signs, directions are given by the
way of traffic lights and various wats.
|Pha That Luang:
This is the most important monument in Laos; a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and
An interesting journey by dusty road, from Vientiane to Savannakhet.
Compare Hotel Prices in Laos
Laos has no railways.
The condition of the roads outside of the major towns are appalling,
so only those who have to, or enjoy dusty adventures, use them. To travel long distance
often means going by truck.
The lorry will be carrying anything from rice to petrol, quite likely
both, and the passengers sit on top; squeezing in where they can.
Because of the terrain and poor land connections, an internal air
service is important in Laos.
The Mekong river is the main waterway in this landlocked exotic
country of less than 5 million inhabitants; as it flows down the entire length of the
Other smaller rivers such as the Nam Ou, Nam Khan, Nam Ngum in the
north, and Se Don in the south all run into the Mekong.
Ferries with overnight accommodation are rather basic. For shorter,
water trips use the river taxis.
Engine-mounted long-tail boats, Thai-made speedboats, and even rowing
boats are all available for hire.
The official language of Laos is Lao, one of the Sino-Tibetan
languages. French is also used in bureaucracy.
Numerous ethnic groups have kept their own languages and dialects.
Laos has 68 ethnic minorities and some of the most unspoiled countryside in Asia.
The best time to visit Laos is between November and April.
The hot season, from March to May, is very dry; making some river
trips not feasible.
Embassy in Washington DC is located at 2222 S St. NW.
When travelling within Laos, from north to south, you'll never find two places that have
the same environment and style.
From historic temples, lush landscapes and welcoming smiles, the heart of Southeast Asia
is waiting to be explored.
Luang Prabang is a sleepy town in northern Laos, at the confluence
of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan. It was the early capital of Lan Xang, between 1353
The French were in town from 1893 to 1954, with Luang Prabang again
serving as the royal capital of Laos; from 1950 until the country became a republic, in
Most of the historic temples are between the Phu Si hill and the Mekong River. The Royal
Palace Museum is a good place to start, as the displays give you a good idea of the area's
Accommodation in Luang Prabang
Grand Luang Prabang Hotel:
Prince Phetsarath chose this site for tranquillity, its stunning views of the mighty
Mekong River, and the breathtaking landscape of mountains surrounding Luang Prabang.
Luang Namtha, Laos' north-western most province, has large and diverse ethnic groups many
of whom still live traditional life styles. The main ethnic groups in the area are Tai
Yuan, Black Red and White Tai, Tai Lue, Khmu, Rok, Akha, Lanten, Mien and Hmong.
Lao National Chamber of Commerce and
Villa Santi Hotel:
This boutique hotel, in Luang Prabang, was the former house of a Lao Royal Princess and
has been elegantly renovated to gracefully blend Royal Lao and the classic French colonial
When in Laos, make certain to bring a comfortable amount of smaller US
dollar notes, as the local currency is too bulky to carry; given the exchange rates and
denomination of their notes.
By Tapa King.
||Laos Guide 999:
Lightly populated, Laos offers visitors a breathtaking array of stunning scenery, history,
culture, great food and adventure, coupled with the opportunity to see how its diverse
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