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Flag : Laos
 

 
Fact file : Laos
 
Area236,800 sq km
CapitalVientiane
Population5,921,545
LanguageLao
Currencykip

 

Laos

Laos is the only landlocked nation among the countries of Southeast Asia.
It was ruled by kings for several centuries. In the late 1800's the French became the masters of the land and the power behind the throne. They left in 1954 and Laos was declared an independent and neutral country, a "buffer" between Communist North Vietnam and non-Communist Thailand.
But then civil war broke out between the royal government and the Communist-led Pathet Lao. The Communists emerged victorious in 1975 and have been in power since then.
Laos is smaller than Andhra Pradesh and has a population of a little over 5 million. Agriculture is the principal economic activity. Rice is the chief food crop.
Benzoin used in making perfumes, lac and other forest products form a big part of Laotian exports.
Most Laotians are Buddhists and social life centres around Buddhist festivals.
Until 1700 A.D. Laos was known as Lan Xang, 'Land of a Million Elephants'. Elephants are still used as beasts of burden there.

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