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Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th Century under King FA NGUM. For three hundred years Lan Xang included large parts of present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the control of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy and instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Vietnam. A gradual return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1986. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population:

Nationality (Noun): Lao(s) or Laotian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Lao or Laotian

Official Language(s): Laotian

Major Languages Spoken: English, French, Hmong, Laotian

Map of Laos

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Lao People's Democratic Republic

Country Name (short form): Laos

Country Name (local long form): Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao

Country Name (local short form): none

Name of Capital: Vientiane

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Laos: Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China

National Holiday: Republic Day, 2 December (1975)

International Phone Code: 856

Currency Code: kip (LAK)

Internet Country Code: .la

US Embassy Location: 19 Rue Bartholonie, That Dam Road, Vientiane

US Embassy Mailing Address: American Embassy Vientiane, Box V, APO AP 96546


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