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About Laos

Lao PDR is located in the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, in Southeast Asia, latitude 14 to 23 degrees north and longitude 100 to 108 degrees east. Laos is a landlocked country. It shares a 505 km border with China to the north, 435 km of border with Cambodia to the south, 2,069 km of border with Vietnam to the east, 1,835 km of border with Thailand to the west, and a 236 km border with Myanmar to the northwest. The country stretches for 1,700 km north to south, with an east-west width of over 500 km at its widest, only 140 km at the narrowest point.
Lao PDR covers a total of 236,800 km2, three-quarters of which is mountains and plateaux. The country has three distinct regions. The north is dominated by mountains which average 1,500 metres above sea level. The highest peak is the 2,800 metre Phou Bia in Xieng Khouang province. The Phou Luang (Annamite Chain) stretches from the southeast of the Phouane Plateau down to the Cambodian border. It has three large plateaux: Phouane Plateau in Xieng Khouang province, Nakai Plateau in Khammuan province, and Boloven Plateau in southern Laos, 1,000 m above sea level.
Laos is tropical, and the weather is influenced by monsoons. The weather in the mountains in the north and in the high range of the Annamite Chain bordering Vietnam in the east is semi-tropical. The difference in day and night temperatures is about 10C.
The population consists of 49 ethnic groups, in four main linguistic families, according to preliminary figures given to a symposium on the names of ethnic groups on August 13-14, 2000. *
* Source: Embassy of Lao PDR

Geographical information:


  • Fast Official Data
• Country Name: The Lao People's Democratic Republic. (Short form: Lao PDR. or LAOS

• Local name: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao.

• Capital: Vientiane Capital.

• Official language: Lao.

• Local Currency: Lao Kip.(Approximately: 1 USD = 8,814 Kip)

• GMT/Local Time Difference: GMT + 7 hrs.

• Climate: Tropical monsoon.

• 2 Season : Rainy season from May to October and Dry season from November to April.
  • Main International Checkpoints:

• Wattay International Airport (Vientiane capital).

• Luangprabang International Airport.

• Friendship Bridge: Nongkhai, Thailand – Vientiane

• International border: Chong Mek, Ubonratchathani, Thailand – Vang Tao, Champasak, Lao PDR

• International border: Mukdahan, Thailand - Kaysonephomvihane, Savannakhet, Lao PDR




  • • In 2012, It was estimated that there are 6.5 million people residing in Laos and 1/4 of the population lives in poverty line of $1.25 per day
  • • 2.8 million children living in Laos and half of all children under the age of 5 are malnourished
  • • 11% of children between ages 5 and 14 are in child labour
  • • The expenditure on education is one of smallest in the world, 2.3% therefore progress in education is limited--poor school facilities, inappropriate curriculum and poorly qualified teachers
  • • Quality of education does not meet demands of society or international standards
  • • Education System in as follows:
      • Preschool education
      • Primary (5 years)
      • Lower secondary (4 years)
      • Upper secondary (3 years)
      • Post-secondary (2 to 6 years)
  • • Shortages of primary schools--only 35% are able to offer the full course (Grade 1 to 5). And for the rest of the primary schools, they only offer grade 1 to 2 or grade 1 to 3, preventing children in completing basic education
  • • Net enrollment of primary students is 84% however repetition rate at grade 1 is 33% and 18% for grade 2
  • • Rate of primary school completion is 44%
  • • Enrollment rates are as high as 95% in the Vientiane Capital but drop as low as 56% in remote rural area--Schools in rural areas fewer resources and a lower enrollment rate
  • • Illiteracy rate is 73%
  • • Academic Year: (General Education System)
  • First semester begins, usually on September 1
  • First semester ends, beginning of January
  • Second semester begins, mid-January
  • Second semester ends, between the end of May and the end of June.



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