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ABOUT LAOS

General Info

The People's Democratic Republic of Laos or just simply called Laos is beautiful and peaceful country in Southeast Asia. Boasted with magnificent natural beauty, rich culture and people’s friendliness Laos is now opening its doors and becoming more and more popular travel destination for tourists those seeking for a true adventure to a country that still considered one of the most mystical lands in the world. Laos so far is still being one of the quite rare places that are not spoilt by industrial smoke and the dust of the material world.
Spend time in Luang Prabang, a perfectly-preserved blend of rustic colonial architecture and gilded monasteries. Visit Vientiane, the laid-back waterside capital, is one of Asia’s most atmospheric cities. Further more, Bolaven Plateau, the 4,000 Islands to the mysterious Plain of Jars and the lush Mekong scenery is on the way and should not be missed.
A trip to Laos to explore the hidden beauties of its natural landscapes and cultural authenticity will surely leave in you an unbeatable experience.

History
Laos is a country with a long established history. Through many vicissitudes of time, Laos today is the country at and of peace, strong with identity and famous for relax style. The country is home of some of the most magnificent cultural facts in Southeast Asia and the world. As their ancestor, Laos people today coping with challenges with a smile. This is the fact that create Laos character. Visiting Laos, one not only have a chance to learn about one of the richest history in the area but to discover the value of living style that gently shown in Laos people daily life and activities...

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Geography & Climate
Laos is a country endowed with natural beauty and has become popular with tourists for adventure style and discovery. More than half of the country is covered by mountains with dense forest. This is the fact that calls for natural and eco tourism. Many places in Laos still wait for exploration. The Mekong River running through the country territory brings fertile soil to build up deltas along its banks that located beautiful little cities and town where cultural achievement flourished.
The main attractions for tourists include Buddhist culture and colonial architecture in Luang Prabang; gastronomy and ancient temples in the capital of Vientiane; backpacking in Muang Ngoi Neua and Vang Vieng; ancient and modern culture and history in The Plain of Jars region. Trekking and visiting hill tribes in a number of areas including Phongsaly and Luang Namtha; spotting tigers and other wildlife in Nam Et-Phou Louey; caves and waterfalls near Thakhek; relaxation, the Irrawaddy dolphin and Khone Phapheng Falls at Si Phan Don or, as they are known in English, the Four Thousand Islands; Wat Phu, an ancient Khmer temple complex; and the Bolaven Plateau for waterfalls and coffee.
Weather in Laos is rather mild thought a bit humid in summer. Winter in the low land just calls for a jumper and one more another layer if you go up the high mountain. In general, you can make a visit to the country any time of the year.

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People
The etymology of the word Lao is uncertain, although it may be related to tribes known as the Ai Lao who appear in Han Dynasty records in China and Vietnam as a people of what is now Yunan Province. Tribes descended from the Ai Lao included the Tai tribes that migrated to Southeast Asia. The Lao people, like many other Tai peoples also refer to themselves as Tai and more specifically Tai Lao.

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Language
The official language of Laos is Lao (pasaa Lao), a tonal Tai-Kadai language which is spoken by an estimated 15 million people in Laos and North East Thailand (Isaan), as well as in numerous diaspora communities around the world. Since the Lao language is closely related to Thai, most Lao and Thai people can understand each other relatively easily.

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Religion and belief
The main religion in Laos is Buddhism. Today some 60 per cent of the Lao population follow Theravada Buddhism. The remainder of the population belongs to at least 48 distinct ethnic minority groups. Most of these ethnic minorities are practitioners of animism, with beliefs that vary greatly among groups. Animism is predominant among most Sino-Thai groups, such as the Thai Dam and Thai Daeng, as well as among Mon-Khmer and Burmo-Tibetan groups.

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Arts and literature
This small country has a long history of traditional art, from sculptures and architecture to paintings and textiles. Laos has an unparalleled diversity within its culture, and all the artwork is characterized by distinct patterns, functional and decorative - certainly unique. The oldest form of art in Laos is probably that of the architecture and sculptures which are used in the Buddhist Temples. Many of which can still be seen today.

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Cuisine
Lao cuisine is very different from the cuisines of other SE Asian cultures and has features which it does not generally share with its neighbours. The Lao food tradition does not belong only to the country of Laos, but to the ethnic Lao people many of whom are inhabitants of Northern and Northeastern Thailand. Indeed, Thailand has more Lao people than Laos! As a result, Lao food is well known, and popular, throughout Thailand and especially in Bangkok.

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Festivals and holidays
Festivals in Laos are largely linked to agricultural seasons or religious holidays. The word for festival in Lao is boun, which also means doing good things during the festivities in order to gain merit for subsequent lives. In addition to the many traditional festivals celebrated on a nationwide basis, there are also a number of important regional festivals, linked mainly to religious ceremonial and often involving traditional performances, sports and games.

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