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Basic Facts
Country name conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
conventional short form: Laos
local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
local short form: none
Gevernment typeCommunist state
Capital name: Vientiane
geographic coordinates: 17 58 N, 102 36 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Flag descriptionthree horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band
Currencykip (LAK)
Internet country
Ports and terminalsKheyrabad, Shir Khan
Agriculture productssweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, tea, peanuts, rice; water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry
Industriescopper, tin, and gypsum mining; timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction, garments, tourism, cement
LocationSoutheastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam
Coordinates18 00 N, 105 00 E
ContinentSoutheast Asia
Area total: 236,800 sq km
land: 230,800 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Boundaries total: 5,083 km
border countries: Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Climatetropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)
Terrainmostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus
Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones
Natural hazardsfloods, droughts
Population6,368,481 (July 2006 est.)
Ethnic groupsLao Loum (lowland) 68%, Lao Theung (upland) 22%, Lao Soung (highland) including the Hmong and the Yao 9%, ethnic Vietnamese/Chinese 1%
ReligionsBuddhist 60%, animist and other 40% (including various Christian denominations 1.5%)
LanguagesLao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages

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