50 Fascinating Facts About Laos

Aside from being home to the world's tallest treehouse and Southeast Asia's oldest human fossil, Laos also has one of the region's fastest expanding economies. In addition, there are papayas galore — and some of them are gigantic! Although we had little prior knowledge of Laos before arriving, we rapidly developed a strong affection for this beautiful nation in Southeast Asia. We know you'll enjoy it, too, because it's home to some of the friendliest people in Asia and some stunning scenery .To show our appreciation for this beautiful country, we've compiled a comprehensive list of all the intriguing facts about Laos you should know!

Fascinating Facts

It's still a young country, having gained independence from French rule in 1949 and just emerging in 1949.
Since December 1975, Laos has been officially referred to as the "Lao People's Democratic Republic," although most people refer to it as "Laos."
Being the only Southeast Asian nation not bordered by water means it has no navy and no beaches.
Known as "Mae Nam Khong" (literally, "mother of all rivers"), the Mekong River flows through the nation.
Because of its importance as a transportation route, the Mekong River also aids in generating energy, irrigating farms, and fishing.
As a result, it is one of the world's most impoverished nations.
There are several marketplaces all around the nation where you may buy the handwoven silk that is famous in Laos. Ancient weaving techniques used by most weavers are still used today, resulting in high-quality silk goods.
Ethnic Laos makes up the vast bulk of the population. Khmou and Hmong are among the country's more than 100 ethnic groups. Only the Lao language is recognised as official by each ethnic people group.
To explain Laos' national meal, larb, it's a sort of pork salad. Although it originated in Laos, Hmong and other northern Thai ethnic groups have assimilated it into Thai cuisine.
The United States military unleashed more than 2 million tonnes of bombs on Laos during the Vietnam War. In the end, around 30% of the explosives didn't go off, and these unexploded bombs are still a danger to people throughout the country today.
Before Pathet Lao came to power in 1975, Luang Prabang served as the capital of Laos. Before then, it was referred to as Xieng Thong, and it served as Laos' royal capital at that time.
The inhabitants of this country are renowned around the world for their integrity and straightforwardness. They've discovered pleasure by making Buddhism their primary religion and practising simplicity in their daily lives.
Agribusiness employs more than 80% of Laotians. People in Laos depend on the fertile land along the 1,865-kilometer Mekong River.
Most of the world's sticky rice is consumed by the Laotians (now Khao). "luk khao niaow" means "children of sticky rice" in their dialect.
Most people in the area utilise river water since running water is still considered a luxury.
73% of the population is literate.
The Lao Kip and Thai Baht, and US dollars may be used to pay for goods and services across the country.
Laos calls itself the "most bombarded country in the world." More than two billion tonnes of bombs were dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War.
The country's official language is Lao, which has a similar sounding alphabet structure to Thai. The older generation is also fluent in French, whilst the younger generation is fluent in English.
The Laotian New Year is a three-day event held on the 13th through the 15th of April each year.
Deforestation is a significant issue in the country, with forest cover down to 42% from a previously astounding 70%.
This country is home to King Cobra, the world's longest deadly snake.
Kataw is the most popular kind of exercise in the country. This resembles volleyball, except players use their feet instead of using their hands to kick and toss the ball.
This waterfall in Laos, known as Khone Papeng, is the tallest and most impressive.
It ranks as the world's third-largest producer of illicit opium.
Due to explosive bombs on the mountain's summit, visitors cannot reach the country's highest peak, the Phou Bia.
Coffee is Laos' most important export. Here you'll also find some of the most excellent coffee in Southeast Asia.
After Luxembourg, it is the world's second-largest user of solar energy.
In a cave in Northern Laos, archaeologists discovered the world's oldest modern human fossil. The age of this fossil is 46,000 years old, which is incredible.
A landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Laos has a population of around 5.5 million people. A landlocked country is entirely encircled by land and has no way to reach the ocean. There are 45 landlocked nations and five partly recognized governments in the world today.
People have inhabited Laos since the Neolithic civilization of hunter-gatherers developed around 8000 BC.
Laos is bordered on the east by the Mekong River. At 4,350 kilometers, it's Southeast Asia's longest river as well as Asia's seventh and the world's twelfth longest rivers combined.
A 14-kilometre-wide network of streams along the Mekong River creates an archipelago of Si Phan Don in Laos, which translates to Four Thousand Islands. Despite this, the country remains landlocked.
When it comes to the Mekong River in Laos, Irrawaddy dolphins (known for their rounded heads and tiny beaks) were common. The WWF tragically revealed in 2016 that the species was "functionally extinct in Laos", with only three dolphins remaining.
Laos became a protectorate of France in 1893. Japan briefly took possession in 1945, but France retook it in 1946.
Despite its independence from France in 1954, Laos was plunged into civil conflict in the following years.
To symbolize the country's struggle for independence, the Lao flag has three horizontal red, blue, and red bands. The blue bands signify the Mekong River and the potential wealth that lies ahead. The white circle in the center alludes to the Japanese flag, a nod to the country's role in supporting the Lao independence cause during World War II.
To symbolize the country's struggle for independence, the Lao flag has three horizontal red, blue, and red bands. The blue bands signify the Mekong River and the potential wealth that lies ahead. The white circle in the center alludes to the Japanese flag, a nod to the country's role in supporting the Lao independence cause during World War II.
Similarly, bombshells that have been dug and reused in rudimentary constructions have been documented. Furthermore, the casings may be recycled as a rich source of scrap metal.
Airstrike craters in Laos are commonly utilized as fishponds or for irrigation of rice fields. Up to 23,000 individuals were concealed in a network of over 450 caverns in Laos during the American bombing campaign. During the Cold War, communist soldiers utilized the caverns as a hideout.
Laos became a democratic republic in 1975 when the Lao People's Front ousted the king and created a country where the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) was the only political party allowed to exist. As a result, she spent several years alone.
In the late 13th or early 14th century, Buddhist missionaries arrived in Laos and brought Buddhism with them. The Buddhist faith is practiced by around 60% of the country's population.
In honour of Laos' beautiful national flower, the Dok Champa, we've named it our National Flower. Because of this, the Laotians revere and honour it. While you may be familiar with the flower scientifically known as Plumeria Rubra as Frangipani, it is known as Dok Champa in Laos.
In Laos, every Buddhist man is obliged to spend some time as a monk. It'd be ideal if this happened right after he graduated from high school but before he began working or getting married. They are called náirn, or novices, during this period
Laos is still one of the world's last remaining communist countries today. Only China, Cuba, Vietnam, and nominally North Korea (even though its government does not identify itself as communist) are left.
Skull and jawbone were discovered in a Laotian cave in 2009, making them Southeast Asia's oldest modern human fossils. This cave skull, found in the Annamite Mountains' Tam Pa Ling, is thought to be 46,000 to 63,000 years old.
Approximately 7 million people call the nation home, based on the most recent estimates. Laos is a sparsely populated country in comparison to its neighbors. A mere 32 individuals live there, making the population density almost four times lower than Thailand's.
Others refer to themselves as "children of sticky rice," which the Lao people like to refer to themselves. Every meal in Laos includes sticky rice, which is a staple cuisine.
In the early 20th century, coffee trees were imported from France and became a major agricultural export. Bolaven Plateau's volcanic soil provides ideal growth conditions for coffee.
The country has just begun to open, and President Barack Obama was the first US president in office to visit Laos in 2016.
An area known as the Plain of Jars, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has more than 2,100 stone jars in a tubular form used for burials throughout the Iron Age, roughly between 500 BC and 500 AD.