Laos

Category: Resorts » International » Asia | Author: alex | Views: 3611 | 1-10-2011, 20:14

 

Laos

 

Official name: Lao People's Democratic Republic

Capital: Vientiane

Geographical position: South-East Asia, Indochina Peninsula

Climate: sub-equatorial monsoon

Area: 236,800 sq. km. km

Population: 4.5 million

Ethnic groups: Lao (50%), Khmer (25%), Thais (14%), Miao and Yao (10%), Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese, Indians.

Religion: Buddhism

Language: Lao, (Thai and French are also popular)

Currency: kip

Telephone code: 856

Отели Кубы Hotels in Laos   Туры в Кубу Tours to Laos     Курортные города Кубы Resort cities of Laos

Другие места отдыха на Кубе Other places of rest in Laos    Рассказы туристов о КубеStories of travelers about Laos

 
Laos

Flag of Laos

Laos

Map of Laos

Laos

Coat of arms of Laos

 

Information about Laos

 

Laos is the Kingdom of Million Elephants (translated from ancient Thai language). The ancient Buddhist temples, beautiful waterfalls, jungle, charming mountain landscapes, fast rivers, the great variety of flora and fauna attract millions of visitors. If you are looking for new impressions and unforgettable experiences, so go to Laos. Laos is an excellent place for adventurers and explorers.

 

Laos Laos Laos

The geographical position of Laos

 

The country is located in South-East Asia, in the Indian subcontinent. In the South it borders with Cambodia, in the West - with Thailand, in the North - with China and in the North-West - with Myanmar. Mountains are dominated in the North and East, lowland - in the South and West. Tropical forests and savannas are spreading on the whole territory. 

 

Laos Laos Laos

 

History of Laos

Khmer tribes had been living on this territory for many centuries, later they were ousted by Thai and Lao tribes who had arrived from southern China. In the 14th century the state Lan Sang was established. It had the highest development during the reign of Suligna Vongsa (1637-1694). After his death, the state was disintegrated into several small countries, and in the 18th century it was conquered by Siam. In 1893 Siam signed a treaty with France, which caused that Laos became a colony of France. During the war 1941-1945 Laos was occupied by Japanese troops, and in 1953 received its independence. In the late 1950s, the country's civil war began. Civil war in Laos was connected with the war between Vietnam and the U.S A. The part of the road "Ho Chi Minh" ran on the territory of Laos, through this road the Vietnamese army was moving to the South. Many times American bombs were exploded in this area causing damage to the population and the environment. The civil war ended in 1973. Lao People's Democratic Republic was declared in December , 1975 with the support of Vietnam and the Soviet Union.

 

Culture of Laos

Historically the traditional culture of Laos was influenced by Khmer, Vietnamese and Taiwanese cultures. It is the most visible in the sculpture, music, musical theater and cuisine. Lao folk music is very distinctive and can not do without a traditional instrument - khaen (double row of bamboo tubes, mounted in a cabinet). Very often, the music accompanies the mini-performances. Architectural art is represented by temples, stupas and Buddha statues. Lao people are great weavers, but, unfortunately, jewelry art is dying.

 

Flora and fauna in Laos

About half of the territory is occupied by always green tropical and subtropical forests. In forests grow yang, palms, bamboos, shrubs, vines and ferns. Sometimes you can find valuable species such as pink, black, sandalwood, and ironwood. In high areas are spreading oaks, pines and chestnut trees. The plains are taken for agriculture fields, mostly rice fields. There are many orchards (papaya, mangos teen, mango, coconut, bananas, sugar cane and citrus trees).


The fauna of Laos is amazing and divers. The name Laos is translated as the Kingdom of Million Elephants, indeed, once there were a lot of elephants there, but as a result of hunting and fighting their population has significantly decreased. Now there are approximately 900 elephants, and they are under strict state protection. A large number of monkeys (gibbons, macaques), predators (tigers, leopards, marble panthers and bears), many wild bulls and wild boars, dangerous snakes (cobras, pythons ...) and crocodiles live in the forests of Laos. Among birds can be noted many species of parrots and peacocks. There is an abundance of fish in the rivers, during the dry season they bury themselves in the mud. 


Laos Laos Laos
Laos Laos Laos

 

Climate in Laos

The climate of Laos is subequatorial monsoon. The Year is divided into three seasons: wet (May - October), dry cool (November - January), hot dry (February-April). The coldest month is January (15 ... 23 C), and the hottest - July (28 ... 30 C). The warm climate of Laos is perfect for traveling in any season. In the rainy season you can enjoy the beauty of nature, a cool period is a good time for traveling by car or boat, in the hot season in April you can celebrate the New Year.

Where to go in Laos

  • Vientiane – this is one of the smallest and calmest Asian capitals. It is a cultural, commercial and administrative center of Laos. Vientiane is an amazing city, where European, especially French, and Asian architecture styles are mixed. This is due to the fact that after the destruction it was rebuilt again by French colonists. The main attraction is the temple of Vientiane, Luang Thap (That Luang), built in the 16th century at the place of the ancient Khmer monastery. To other attractions belong the royal temple of Wat Phra Keo with a museum of Buddha, Wat Si Muang (according to the legend, the spirit – the protector of the city lives here), the Stupa Dame without doors, the oldest temple – Wat Sisaket with a gallery of Buddha statues of all styles and sizes. In the market Talatsao you can buy all kinds of folk art: tablecloths, scarves and traditional clothes. It's very interesting to visit Xieng Khuan Buddha Park, which is located 23 km from the capital. The park has many statues which represent both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. Take a tour to the sacred caves in the mountains of Koh Chang.
  • Luang Prabang – the 800 year old city and a former capital of the ancient state of Laos, now it its cultural and historical center, which belongs to the UNO list of world cultural heritage. The city has 32 temples. Wat Xieng Thong amazes with its luxury and beauty. It is decorated with gold and colored glass. Visit the Palace Museum, here you will find a collection of items belonging to former rulers Lansanga. Climb the mountain Phu Si, its top offers stunning views to the city and river valleys. There is a small cave in the mountain, according to people’s saying; it contains the footstep of Buddha. Temple of Pak Ou (25 km from Luang - Prabang) is very interesting cave. There are many statues of Buddha inside of the caves. Other attractions which deserve attention: the Tat Chomsi pagoda, the monastery Wat Visun (now museum of religious art, Wat Pha Mazathat and Wat Aham. Beautiful waterfalls Kuang Si is a very picturesque place. In some places you can swim, but from the top of it you can admire stunning views to the surrounding mountains. Are you keen on adventures and new experiences, so take a two-day trip on the Mekong River. During the trip you will visit the isolated villages and get acquainted with the culture of the locals and, of course, enjoy the wildlife. There are also many trekking routes through the mountains.
  • Phonsavan - a city in northeastern Laos, which is located at an altitude of 1200 meters. The mysterious Valley of the Pitchers, which attracts millions of tourists is situated here The valley has got its name because of more than 300 stone vessels, which are located on the small territory. They were carved from solid rock about 2000 years ago (the weight of some of them is up to 6 tons).The most interesting fact is that this type of stones is not found nearby.
  • Pakse – capital of Champasak province, commercial and transportation center of the country. Worth visiting are Wat Luang, Champasak Palace, a great Eastern Market and the fish farm. It is highly recommended to go to the Plateau Bolaven. Beautiful nature, waterfalls, unique villages, plantations of coffee and tea create perfect conditions for walking (including walking on the elephants). There are excellent trekking routes on this area. Si Phan Don or four thousand islands is a very popular area for tourists. At this place the Mekong River forms many islands, some of them are inhabited. In the countryside you can admire the beautiful waterfalls, learn about the unique culture of the local residents and watch the population of the rare river dolphins.
  • Ho Chi Minh Road is a very interesting place for those who are interested in military history. The road runs parallel to the border with Vietnam and includes a system of roads and trails. The guerrillas have been used during the Vietnam War. Very often, the trail has been subjected to bombing, which caused severe damage to the population and the environment. Now you can see the remains of combat helicopters, planes, tanks and other equipment.
  • Savannakhet is a very interesting country town in southern Laos. About 60% of its population is ethnic Vietnamese, so the mixture of Vietnamese and Laotian traditions and cultures gives the a unique atmosphere to the city. The city's architecture is also unusual – there are broad boulevards and houses, built in French colonial style, in the centre of the town, the narrow labyrinths of streets are dominated in the suburbs. Visit the Catholic Cathedral of St. Theresa's church and Thap Inghang.

Laos Laos Laos
Laos Laos Laos

 

What to do in Laos

  1. Excursions. Countless ancient temples, rich historical past and unique culture create perfect conditions for excursions. The most popular tourist destinations are Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and the Valley of pitchers and Temple Pu Champassak, near Pakse.
  2. Ecotourism. The richness of nature and diversity of flora and fauna contribute to the development of ecotourism. In the national parks you can watch the tigers, leopards, bears, mongooses, antelopes and gibbons, and in the South in the Delta of Mekong you can watch the rare river dolphins. A journey by boat on the Mekong is very popular among the tourists. During the trip, you can visit the original village and admire the wildlife. Luang Prabang province has to offer fascinating tours along the rivers, waterfalls, caves and mountain villages.
  3. Caves. Caves Vieng Vang (between Vientiane and Luang Prabang) are famous among cavers and tourists. It is well lit and there are several natural lakes inside them. The Cave Tham Phapouae is very long and narrow. There is a sleeping Buddha statue inside. The cave Tham Xang or elephant cave is also very interesting. It received its name because of the stalactite in the shape of an elephant. Inside you can see many statues of Buddha, an imprint of his feet, and natural lakes, where you can swim.
  4. Rafting. A lot of quick and quiet rivers and waterfalls offer excellent conditions for both experienced rafters, and beginners. The most popular routes run along the Mekong River and the rivers Nam Lik, Nam Ngum, Nam Song and Nam Ha. During the trips you can make a stop in the coastal villages, admire the wildlife and rice plantations.

Laos Laos Laos

Laos Laos Laos

 

Some prices of Laos (2011)

A day stay in small towns will cost about $ 6 and in large cities – $ 8. Keep in mind that Vietnam is the most expensive city in Laos. For a regular room here you will pay from $ 5 and for a comfortable hotel -15-$ 60.


For meal you will pay from $ 2. If you want to live in comfort with air conditioning and hot water, and eat in restaurants, then count to 25-77 $ per day.


So the cost of food:

  • Low level – $ 0.5-1
  • Medium – $ 1-3
  • High – from $ 3

Living costs:

  • Low level – $ 2.5 - 10
  • Medium – $ 10-40
  • High – from $ 40

Lao Cuisine


The Lao cuisine has been impacted by culinary traditions of neighboring countries: Thailand, Cambodia, China and Vietnam. The main ingredients of Lao cuisine are rice, freshwater fish, vegetables and plenty of spices. Lime juice, lemon grass and coriander are often added to dishes. Spicy chili sauce, garlic, mint, ground peanuts, ginger and coconut milk are also used in culinary art. A very interesting fact: instead of salt they use fish sauce. A plate of coriander leaves, lettuce, basil and slices of lime is served to the table with main dishes, so that you can add seasonings to your own taste. From the meat dishes are popular dishes of chicken, duck, pork, beef, you can also find more exotic – the dishes of wild boar, squirrels and lizards.
 
Here are a few traditional dishes:

  •  Lap – chicken mixed with lime juice, chili and garlic and added to cereal grains of raw rice
  • Tham Mak Hung – a salad of papaya, garlic, chilli, peanuts, fish sauce and lime juice
  • Naemnuang – pancakes with various fillings (herbs, vegetables, salad, sauce)
  • Pho – soup with thin noodle.

Laos Laos Laos

Laos Laos Laos

 

Interesting facts about Laos:


  1. Laos is not washed by any sea.
  2. The first name of Laos was translated as "Country of Million Elephants and White umbrella".
  3. The population of Laos - 6 million. Laos is less populated than Moscow.
  4. Laos is one of the few countries in the world, ruled by the Communist Party. Here you can still meet the pioneers.
  5. Valley of Jars - the territory in the north, is full of huge stone jars of unknown origin, weight up to several tons. 

 

Conclusions

Laos is a country in South-East Asia. Less than ten years ago, it was not very attractive for tourists, however, over the past few years, tourist’s interest to the country has increased. Numerous ancient temples, rich cultural traditions, tropical forests and spectacular mountain landscapes – attract more and more tourists. Pristine forests of Laos are populateв with many exotic and unique animals such as elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, mongoose, antelope and gibbons. From December to May in the Delta of Mekong you can see the population of rare river dolphins. Throughout the country there are many ancient temples; most of them belong to the Khmer architectural style. The most popular tourist destinations are Vientiane, Luang Prabang, the Valley of Pitchers and Tample Pu Champassak, near Pakse. Laos is one of the poorest and most mysterious countries in Asia. In spite of the fact that it is not washed by sea, the country can offer a lot of interesting things for tourists – exciting excursions, and eco-tourism for nature lovers, rafting for those who prefer an active pastime. Laos is an excellent place for adventurers and explorers. If you want to get away from everyday life and routine, then go to Laos in search of new impressions and experiences.

 

Laos Laos Laos
Laos Laos Laos
Laos Laos Laos




Tags: Laos


 (Votes #: 1)
Leave comment Comments (0)