Laos Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Laos

The Laolum peoples practice Theravada Buddhism, which is the most widespread religion, followed by 60% of the population. The religions of the Laoteng and Laosung groups vary from traditional Christianity and Confucianism to animistic beliefs.

Transport in Laos

Lao Airlines connects Vientiane with Luang Prabang, Xing Khuang, Huay Xai, Savannakhet, Pakse, Sam Neua, Udomxai and Luang Nam Tha.

With the help of foreign countries in Laos, it was possible to organize a network of roads, but many of them do not have an asphalt surface. The country’s main thoroughfare is Highway 13, linking Luang Prabang and the south of the country. Buses and trucks are the main modes of transport between and within provinces, but not every province can be reached by public transportation. Bus types range from a converted truck with benches to large modern air-conditioned buses.

An alternative to bus service is river transport. The main waterways used for transportation are the Mekong, Nam Ou, Nam Khan, Nam Tha, Nam Ngum and Se Don rivers. There are no railways in Laos.

You can get around the city by tuk-tuks. Payment for a taxi in Laos is made exclusively by agreement, although there is a roughly fixed fee, which is usually 0.5 USD per km. It is always better to negotiate before getting into the car. Taxis can be hired both for a separate trip and for the whole day. In Vientiane, taxis can be found at Vothai Airport, the Friendship Bridge, and the Morning Bazaar.

Almost everywhere you can rent a bike or motorcycle. Car rental is possible during Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Pakse, but the price is high and therefore this service is not developed in Laos.

Plant and Animal World in Laos

Most of the territory of Laos is covered with forests. In the north, these are evergreen moist forests dominated by magnolias, laurels, lianas and ferns. Above 1500 m, they are replaced by mixed coniferous-deciduous forests with oak, pine, and chestnut.

The plateaus of central and southern Laos are dominated by light monsoon deciduous forests with teak, shoreea, dipterocarpus, lagerstromia, and bamboo thickets. In the valleys of southern Laos and on the slopes of the Truong Son mountains, evergreen tropical rain forests grow from dipterocarp (yang, takyan, etc.), palm trees, fruit trees, bamboo, and tree ferns. Lianas grow wildly. In the forests there are also wild bananas, breadfruit, durian. Tall-grass savannas are common in areas of insufficient moisture.

In the fauna of Laos, elephants, monkeys (macaques, gibbons, etc.) are represented, predators include a tiger, leopard, marble panther, Malay and white-breasted bears, in some places there are palm marten and marsh lynx; from ungulates – bulls (banteng and gayal), buffaloes, deer, wild boars, from reptiles – lizards, cobras, pythons and other snakes. The country is home to many birds, the most common representatives of which are parrots, peacocks, pheasants, pigeons, ducks.

Minerals in Laos

Laos has significant reserves of a number of minerals. Currently, deposits of tin ore have been explored. Iron ore reserves in Laos are estimated to account for two-thirds of all Southeast Asian resources. Deposits of copper ore, coal, lead, zinc, antimony, gypsum, manganese, limestone, potash, table salt, platinum, precious stones (sapphires, rubies, etc.) have also been explored. Alluvial placers of gold and silver are numerous. The development of deposits of tin ore, gold, precious stones is underway.

Banks in Laos

Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 13:30 to 17:30.

Money in Laos

The national currency of Laos is the kip. There are 100 atts in one bale. Banknotes in denominations of 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000, 1,000 and 500 kip are in circulation. You can exchange currency at banks, exchange offices, hotels and restaurants. The most favorable rate in banks, in hotels and restaurants, the rate is less, but this is the only way to exchange money in the evening or on weekends.

Thai baht and US dollars are accepted everywhere. They can be used to pay in markets, shops and hotels. Visa and Mastercard credit cards are accepted only in large restaurants, hotels and shops in Vientiane, travelers checks are cashed only in large hotels and banks.

Rate: 10000 Laos Kip (LAK) = 1.09 USD

Political State in in Laos

According to politicsezine, Laos is a socialist republic. The head of state is the president. The President is also the Supreme Commander. Legislative power in the country belongs to the unicameral National Assembly.

Population in Laos

The population of Laos is 5.5 million people. There are about 70 nationalities and tribes in the country, which are combined into three large groups – Laolum or lowland Lao (50% of the population), Laoteng or Upper Lao (30%) and Laosung or Upper Lao (about 15%).

The official language of Laos is Lao. Separate nationalities and tribes speak dialects of Lao, close to the Thai language. English, French and Vietnamese are also used.

Cuisine in Laos

The cuisine of Laos is in many ways similar to the cuisine of Thailand. It uses a lot of spices, and the main ingredients of the dishes are rice, pork and chicken. Fresh vegetables, freshwater fish and duck are also often used. Among the ingredients and seasonings, the most common are lemongrass, chili, peanuts, coconut milk, ginger and exotic paa daek or fermented fish paste. One of the most traditional Lao dishes is called laap, which is a mixture of minced meat or fish, lemon juice, mint leaves and other spices. Another popular dish is tam mak hong, a salad of green papaya, lime, chili and fish paste, sometimes with peanuts or tomatoes. Lao sweets are most often made with glutinous rice and coconut and wrapped in banana leaves.

Of the drinks in this country, you should try local beer, rice vodka. Lao coffee grown on the Bolaven Plateau is one of the best in the world. It is usually served in glasses with sugar or condensed milk. Cafe nom yen is cold coffee with condensed milk on top of a layer of ice. All cafes serve juices from lemon, orange, coconut, sugar cane, as well as all kinds of fruit cocktails.

Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes are widespread in Laos.

Cuisine in Laos

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