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Laos Overview

13/04/2019 546 Views
Laos – officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic – is one of the great travel frontiers; landlocked and mountainous, swamped by jungles and promising Indian Jones adventures in remote tribal villages and ancient Buddhist caves.
With Thailand on one side and Vietnam on the other, you might expect Laos to be commercial and crowded, but this is Asia’s backwater, where life moves as slowly as the churning waters of the Mekong River, which forms the border with three countries – Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia – as it snakes south towards the Gulf of Thailand.
A long-running civil war – during which the USA dropped millions of bombs in Laos – kept the country off the mainstream tourist circuit for many years. Unexploded ordnance and poor infrastructure continue to pose a challenge to tourism, but each year brings a new crop of upmarket accommodation to supplement the existing backpacker hostels – Laos is finally finding its feet. Eco-tourism looks set to be its trump card, taking visitors to remote tribal villages and pristine national parks teeming with weird and wonderful wildlife.
Despite this rugged outlook, the capital city, Vientiane, feels remarkably cosmopolitan, helped by a café culture left behind from when this was part of French Indochina. Dotted around its pleasantly faded, palm-shaded streets are ancient ruins, gleaming stupas and graceful colonial buildings.
The laidback atmosphere and the relative lack of modern development make Laos perhaps the most authentic and unspoiled of the Southeast Asia nations, though it competes for this title with neighbouring Myanmar. Laos is also one of the few communist countries left in the world – which should be obvious from the bureaucratic red tape and the omnipresent red stars on uniforms and state buildings.
Until 1988, tourists were banned from Laos, but now it is possible to travel all over the country. Nevertheless, there are few crowded tourist hotspots, with the possible exception of monastery-studded Luang Prabang and the overblown backpacker resort of Vang Vieng. Wherever you go in Laos, you’ll encounter the delectable Lao cuisine: a little bit French, a little bit Southeast Asian, and perfect washed down with a bottle of Beer Lao.
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Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
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Laos Arts
One of the trademarks of Laos is the diversity of its people and cultures. There are a number of traditional arts and crafts that represent their way of life. Lao has a rich cultural heritage with religious art and architecture forming the cornerstone of artistic traditions.
Climate Laos
Climate Laos
Most of the year is hot and humid. Laos enjoys a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The rainy season is from the beginning of May to the end of September, and the dry season is from October through April.
Laos Traditional Dance
Laos Traditional Dance
Lao religious images and art is also distinctive and sets Laos apart from its neighbors.
Laos Culture
Laos Culture
Lao people are frank, open and friendly, and they possess a strongly developed sense of courtesy and respect. Everyone who adheres to the latter will receive a warm welcome.
Laos Religion
Laos Religion
Buddhism first appeared in Laos during the eighth century A.D., as shown by both the Buddha image and the stone inscription found at Ban Talat near Vientiane, now exhibited at Hor Pra Keo Museum. After the foundation of the unified Kingdom of Lane Xang, King Fa Ngum (14th Century) declared Buddhism as the state religion and urged the people to abandon Animism or other beliefs such as the Cult of Spirits. His policy meant to develop the Lao culture based on a common faith: Theravada Buddhism.
When to visit Laos ?
When to visit Laos ?
If you’re planning a trip to Laos, determining the best time to visit should be a top priority. You may want to plan your trip for a different time depending on where in Laos you’ll spend the most time, and how you plan to get around.
Laos History
Laos History
Laos traces its history to the kingdom of Lan Xang, founded in the 15th century by Fa Ngum, himself descended from a long line of Lao kings, tracking back to Khoun Boulom. Lan-Xang prospered until the 18th century, when the kingdom was divided into three principalities, which eventually came under Siamese suzerainty.
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