Laos

Driving Directions Laos

LAOS is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It is ruggedly moun­tainous apart from the Mekong river plains along its border with Thailand. The Annam Mountains, which reach 2,500 meters or 8,203 feet, form a natural border with Vietnam. Like its neighbor, Myanmar, it has a wealth of plant and animal life.

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Laos has a tropical monsoon climate with high temperatures throughout the year and heavy rains in summer. Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world, and its development has retarded by war, drought, and floods.

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Buddhism and spirit wor­ship are the principal religions, and religious activities play a very impor­tant part in the life of the people.

It is primarily an agricultural country with the principal crop being rice grown on small peasant plots. The mighty Mekong river provides the primary means of transport and communication as well as irrigation for the rice paddies upon which the people’s subsistence depends. Corn, potatoes, and cassava are also grown.

There is some export of timber, coffee, tin, and electricity. All manufactured goods imported, and these are mainly food, machinery, petroleum products, and electrical equipment. The capital and largest city, Vientiane, is the country’s leading trade outlet via Thailand.

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