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Country Info: Laos

By Khamsaveng Inthavong


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  • Official name:
    Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Population:
    6.3 million (UN, 2011)
  • Capital:
    Vientiane
  • Area:
    236,800 sq km (91,400 sq miles)
  • Major language:
    Lao, French (for diplomatic purposes)
  • Major religion:
    Buddhism
  • Life expectancy:
    66 years (men), 69 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit:
    New kip
  • Main exports:
    Clothing, timber products, coffee, gold, copper, electricity
  • GNI per capita:
    US $1,130 (World Bank, 2011)
  • Internet domain:
    .la
  • International dialling code:
    +856


TOP CUISINES

Larb

Regarded as the national dish of Laos. It's made with a spicy mixture of marinated meat or fish with a variable combination of herbs, greens, and spices.

Luk Khao Niaw

A steamed sticky rice which is usually eaten by hand, the staple food of Laotians.

Tam Bak Hoong

Or Papaya salad is another of Laos' delectable inventions.

TOP PLACES

Pha That Luang

In Vientiane is the national symbol and most important religious monument of the country, That Luang is a three-layered gilded stupa.

Kuang Si Falls

A large multi-stage waterfall which is some 29 km south of Luang Prabang.

Wat Phu (Champasak)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site with Angkor-style Khmer temples. The temple is still in use as a Buddhist site.

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