Interesting Facts About Laos

Scenes from Laos.
Scenes from Laos.

Laos is a small landlocked sovereign nation in Southeast Asia. The country has a rich history that is reflected in the nation’s culture and architecture. Laos is also endowed with great natural beauty. Here is a list of some interesting facts related to Laos:

9. The World’s Widest Waterfall Is Located In Laos

The Khone Falls is located on the Mekong River in the Champasak Province of Laos. It has a width of 35,376 feet making it the world’s widest waterfall. The falls feature thousands of islands and innumerable water channels. Powerful rapids and precipitous drops in the region are some of the primary reasons why the Mekong is not navigable into China.

8. Laos Is Described As The World’s Most Bombed Country

In the 1960s and 1970s, around two million bombs were dropped on Laos, making it the world's most bombed country per capita.

7. Laos Is One Of The Last Refuges Of The Nearly Extinct Irrawaddy Dolphins

An endangered species, the Irrawaddy dolphin is a dolphin species found in the offshore waters, estuaries, and rivers in Southeast Asia and the Bay of Bengal. Thousands of these dolphins have died by drowning in gillnets. The building of dams, sand mining, electrofishing, water pollution, etc., also threaten the species. The Mekong River hosts a tiny population of these rare creatures. If one is lucky, it is possible to catch a glimpse of these dolphins playing the waters of the Mekong as it flows through Laos.

6. Laos Has A Magical Lake

"Nong Fa Lake" in Laos is a volcanic lake with a unique appearance. The depth of the lake is said to be unknown, which results in many legends surrounding the lake. It has been referred to as "magical" by travel guides.

5. Laos Has A Cave With Hundreds Of Ancient Buddha Sculptures

A group of caves known as the Tham Ting and the Tham Theung overlooking the Mekong River in Laos is a major tourist destination. These caves are famous for their small Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of such sculptures, mostly made of wood, decorate shelves on the walls of these caves. The Buddha in these sculptures is represented in various positions including teaching, reclining, and meditating.

4. The Highest Point In Laos Is A Dangerous Place To Visit

The highest point in Laos is the 2,819 m tall Phou Bia mountain. It is part of the Annamese Cordillera range. Although mountains are often the major tourist attraction in a country, the Phou Bia is a heavily forested and remote area where foreign tourists seldom visit. The fact that the mountain is located in a restricted military area and has unexploded ordnances makes it nearly inaccessible to tourists.

3. The Ancient Laotians Buried Their Dead In Massive Stone Jars

The Plain of Jars is a famous archeological site in Laos. Here, thousands of jars made of stone are scattered throughout the vast landscape of the Xiangkhoang Plateau’s central plain. According to most researchers, the jars were used for burial practices in prehistoric times. Remains of humans and burial goods uncovered at the site support this theory.

2. Laos Is Southeast Asia’s Only Landlocked Nation

Being landlocked is considered to be a great disadvantage to a nation. A landlocked country remains cut off from the sea and is unable to have easy access to seaborne trade. Economic activities based on sea resources like fishing are also absent in such countries. Laos is also one such landlocked country and it is the only one in Southeast Asia where all other countries have extensive coastlines.

1. Laos Has A Buddhist Stupa That Is Adorned In Gold

The Pha That Luang is a Buddhist stupa that is located in the Vientiane city of Laos. It serves as a major national symbol of the country. The stupa was possibly built in the 3rd century and is covered by gold. It was the target of many invaders throughout the history of Laos who caused significant damage to the stupa. Thus, the structure underwent several reconstructions to restore it to its old glory.


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