Facts Laos

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

 On this page you will find:

  • Name used for Laos
  • Basic Facts about Laos
  • Communications
  • Laos Public Holidays
  • Where is Laos Located?
  • Getting to Laos
  • Getting around Laos

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: Vientiane Capital

National Flag: Laos Flag 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.

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Laos facts - Communications

Facts about Laos Telephone

Country Code: +856Lao telecommunication tower

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 7 digits (mobile)

Note (important): From the 1st June 2010 Lao mobile numbers will have 8 digits, details as following.

2 prefix is added to the numbers that begin with 2 or 3.

Example: (020) 212 3456 will be 2212 3456

5 prefix is added to the numbers that begin with 4, 5 or 6

Example: (020) 412 3456 will be 5412 3456

7 prefix is added to the numbers that begin with 7

Example: (020) 712 3456 will be 7712 3456

9 prefix is added to the numbers that begin with 8 or 9

 Example: (020) 812 3456 will be 9812 3456

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 Internet cafes in major towns such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang have ADSL, WiFi or broadband connections. Most of them charge around 4,000-6,000kip an hour.

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. Click here to view the list of Lao public holidays.

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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).