Laos Facts

Laos Facts and History


Laos – the mountainous country in Southeast Asia has no direct access to the sea, only via the Mekong. This flows over a length of approx. 1,800 km through the country.

Before Brunei and Singapore, Laos is the third smallest country in Southeast Asia and the only one that is not by the sea. Despite its many different tribes, Laos is one of the few countries in the region where there is no tension between the different population groups.

But Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world with a per capita income of less than 800 euros per year. The illiteracy rate is around 40% and the infant mortality rate is 10%. Those who can afford to keep chickens or pigs are among the better-off.

Name of the country Laos
Form of government People’s Democratic Republic
Geographical location around from 100 ° – 108 ° east longitudearound 14 ° – 22 ° north latitude
National anthem Pheng Xat Lao
Independence July 22, 1954 (by France)
National holiday December 2(Proclamation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos on December 2, 1975)
Population approx. 6.7 million (Credit: Countryaah: Laos Population)
Ethnicities The different ethnic groups can be divided into three main groups:approx. 60% Lao Loum, Laotians of the lowlands.

approx. 26% Lao Theung, mountain tribes of the Mon-Kmer.

approx. 13% Lao Soung, Sino-Tibetan people of the highlands

Religions around 60% Buddhists, around 2.5% Christians, 37% followers of natural religions and others.
Languages The official language is Lao,French and English are also spoken, as well as tribal languages.
Capital Vientiane – together with various suburbs approx. 800,000 residents
Surface 236,800 km²
Highest mountain Phou Bia with a height of 2,817 m
Longest river Mekong with a length of approx. 1,800 km
Largest lake Ang Nam Ngum, an artificial reservoir near Vientiane with an area of around 250 km²
International license plate LAO
Currency Kip
Difference to CET + 6 h
International phone code 00856
Mains voltage, frequency 220 volts, 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .la

Laos: history

Until the 17th century

Laos was ruled for a long time by the Khmer from Angkor Wat and then by the Thais from Sukhothai.

According to Abbreviationfinder website, in the 13th century the Lao people from southern China advanced into what is now Laos.

In 1353, Prince Fa Ngoum founded the Kingdom of Laos, which is also known as “Lane Xang”, the land of millions of elephants.

Luang Prabang and the Kingdom of Laos were temporarily occupied by the Vietnamese in the 15th century.

Vientiane, Vieng Chan, developed into a second capital of another kingdom in the 16th century. Although the neighboring, strong Burma had expanded its sphere of influence to Vieng Chan at the same time, the king Setthathirat appointed Vieng Chan the capital of Laos in 1563.

Soon after, in 1575, the Burmese occupied the city, where they were to remain for seven years.

In 1591 the two kingdoms of Luang Prabang and Vieng Chan were united under King Nokeo Koumane.

Around 1700, however, the empire split again into the three kingdoms Vieng Chan, Luang Prabang and Champassak.

In the 18th and 19th centuries

Laos came back under the rule of Burma in 1767. The Burmese had previously conquered the Siamese capital Ayutthaya, which is located north of Bangkok in what is now Thailand.

The Siamese moved their capital to Bangkok and expanded their sphere of influence to the east. With the result that Laos was largely ruled by the Siamese at that time.

The people of Laos revolted under King Anou in 1827. However, the uprising was suppressed. But what was left of Laos was falling apart.

The French began to explore the course of the Mekong around 1868 after they had already annexed South Vietnam and Cambodia became a French. Had made protectorate.

In 1893 the Mekong became the border between Siam and Laos. The area east of the river was the French. Slammed in Indochina. Luang Prabang became a French protectorate. All western areas fell to Siam.

In 1097 the borders were changed: parts to the west of the river, such as Sayabouri and Champassak, were added to the French part of Indochina.

However, since the country is quite mountainous and was not interesting from an economic point of view, the French were not very interested in Laos.

In 1944 the Japanese occupied the country.

Laos in the 20th century, the road to independence

In November 1945 the independent state of Laos was proclaimed.

In April 1946, however, the French re-established the country as a colony after the occupation of Vientiane.

Laos then only achieved full sovereignty with the ceasefire agreement of July 20, 1954 and the final declaration of the Geneva Conference of July 21, 1954. The ceasefire agreement came into force on July 22, 1954, so this date is given as the date of independence.

Until 1979, however, civil war raged between three parties in the country.

The three conflicting parties were:

– The Conservatives, whose approximately 30,000-strong army belonged to the Hmong (Meo) tribe.

– The pro-communist Pathet Lao movement supported by North Vietnam.

– The neutrals led by Prince Souvanna Phouma.

On December 2nd, 1975 the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos was proclaimed. This was led by Prince Souvanna Phouma as the first President. Phomvihan, general secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, became general secretary.

The first constitution was passed on August 14, 1991.

Laos Facts