Laos

 
Category:   World Travel Directory  :  Asia  :  Laos
 
Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west. Laos traces its history to the Kingdom of Lan Xang or Land of a Million Elephants, which existed from the 14th to the 18th century.

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.

Laos' first, French-written and monarchical constitution was promulgated on May 11, 1947 and declared it to be an independent state within the French Union. The revised constitution of 11 May 1957 omitted reference to the French Union, though close educational, health and technical ties with the former colonial power persisted. The 1957 document was abrogated on 3 December 1975, when a communist People's Republic was proclaimed. A new constitution was adopted in 1991 and enshrined a "leading role" for the LPRP.

The following year, elections were held for a new 85-seat National Assembly with members elected by secret ballot to five-year terms. This National Assembly, which essentially acts as a rubber stamp for the LPRP, approves all new laws, although the executive branch retains authority to issue binding decrees. The most recent elections took place in April 2006. The assembly was expanded to 99 members in 1997 and in 2006 elections had 115.  Source


Laos Facts

Population: 7 million

Capital: Vientiane

Currency: Kip

Area: 236,800 km2

Language: Lao

Main Religion
: Buddhism

Calling Code
: +856

Time Zone: GMT + 7

Main Cities: Vientiane, Pakxe, Savannakhet, Louangphrabang, Xam Nua, Muang Khammouan, Muang Vangviang, Muang Pakxan, Ban Houakhoua, Champasak