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 Thongsing Thammavong
Capital:
National 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.