Laos Facts

Here are some basic facts about Laos that may help make your travel preparation or planning easier.

Name used for Laos

Lao - used by Lao people (the 's' is dropped in Lao language)

Laos - Short form and commonly used in general

Lao PDR (Lao People's Democratic Republic) - Formal

Basic Facts about Laos

Head of State: President Choummaly Sayasone (since 2006)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith
Capital: read about the Laos Flag
Languages: Lao (official), English, French, Chinese, Vietnamese and various ethnic languages are spoken
Religion: The majority are Buddhists, hill tribes' religions range from Confucianism to animism and Christianity
Total Area: 236,800 sq km (91,400 sq miles)
Population: 6.8 million (estimated early 2009)
Population Density: 27 per sq km.
Nationality: Lao (or Laotian)
Currency: Lao Kip (LAK). Find out about Laos currency
Electric: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. 2-pin flat or round plugs are in use.
Time: GMT + 7 (12 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time)
Climate: Tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to October or early November); dry season (Late November or December to April). Check out Laos climate for more details
Topography: Laos is made up of mountains, some plains and plateaus. More than half of the country's area is covered by forest.

Laos facts - Communications

Facts about Laos Telephone

Country Code: +856

Area Code: starts with 0 for both land line and mobile phone (e.g. in Vientiane, 021 for land line, and 020 for mobile phone). When dialing from abroad, the first digit (0) of the area code is dropped.

The following information maybe helpful to know. Within Laos, the 020 prefix must be dialed for calls made to mobile phone from land line, and all 3 digits of area code must be dialed for calls made from land line to land line in other provinces. The same applies to calls made from mobile phone to land line.

For mobile phone to mobile phone you can dial with or without the 020 prefix, and land line to land line within the same province, dail with or without the 3 digits area code is OK.

Phone numbers: 6 digits (land line), and 8 digits (mobile)

Mobile Phone: International roaming is available throughout the country, but it is a good idea to check with your service provider as only a few international mobile phone companies have roaming agreement with Lao service providers.

Facts about Lao Internet

Internet cafes are common in most major towns and in places frequently visited by tourists. Most coffee shops and restaurants provide Free-Wifi.

Lao Public Holidays

One of Laos facts that might be helpful to know is Laos holidays (Lao public holidays). When you plan to travel to Laos it is a good idea to take this into account especially when you have time constrain or when traveling for business. Knowing which days are public holidays can help you plan your time around it so you can make the most of it. Read more.

Where is Laos Located?

Laos is located in the heart of Southeast Asia, surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma. It's a landlocked country with no direct links to sea. See » Where is Laos? for Laos facts on geography of Laos.

Getting to Laos

Even though Laos might be secluded from the outside world (at least in the past), it is easily accessible. For more information on how to get there see » Getting to Laos

Getting Around Laos

Laos is for those who want to explore beautiful nature the way the nature intended it to be. There are countless natural attractions waiting to be visited, many bautiful places are accessible by public transport while others are not. Find more Laos facts at Travel in Laos page (coming soon).


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