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Visiting Laos, People and its Culture

Written by ttalk from http://www.travelertalk.com | Category: Laos on May 18th, 2009 | 26 Comments | 34,549 views

Laos has a rich history stretching back 10,000 years. At its height, it ruled over present day Laos and much of neighbouring northern Thailand. Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia and the thickly forested landscape consists mostly of rugged mountains, the highest of which is Phou Bia at 9,242 feet (2,817 m), with some plains and plateaus. The Mekong River forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand, whereas the mountains of the Annamite Chain form most of the eastern border with Vietnam.

69% of the country’s people are ethnic Lao, the principal lowland inhabitants and the politically and culturally dominant group. The Lao belong to the Tai linguistic group who began migrating southward from China in the first millennium AD. 8% belong to other “lowland” groups, which together with the Lao people make up the Lao Loum.

Hill people and minority cultures of Laos such as the Hmong (Miao), Yao (Mien), Dao, Shan, and several Tibeto-Burman speaking peoples have lived in isolated regions of Laos for many years. Mountain/hill tribes of mixed ethno/cultural-linguistic heritage are found in northern Laos which include the Lua (Lua) and Khmu people who are indigenous to Laos. Today, the Lua people are considered endangered. Collectively, they are known as Lao Soung or highland Laotians. In the central and southern mountains, Mon-Khmer tribes, known as Lao Theung or mid-slope Laotians, predominate. Some Vietnamese, Chinese and Thailand Thai minorities remain, particularly in the towns, but many left in two waves; after independence in the late 1940s and again after 1975.

Laos is rich in mineral resources but imports petroleum and gas. Metallurgy is an important industry, and the government hopes to attract foreign investment to develop the substantial deposits of coal, gold, bauxite, tin, copper and other valuable metals in the country. In addition, the country’s plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy. Of the potential capacity of approximately 18,000 megawatts, around 8,000 megawatts have been committed for exporting to Thailand and Vietnam.

Here Buddhism permeates every facet of life, change comes slowly, and cities bed down early. The perfect place to break from office politics or put a pause in a hyperactive travel agenda, this land of mountain, mists and untamed natural beauty tempts with unrivalled peace and serenity.

Places of interest can be found at Laos :  Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Loung Namtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Province, Xaignabouli, Xaisomboun (special administrative zone, dissolved in 2006), Xekong and Xiangkhoang.

Laos Map :

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26 Responses to “Visiting Laos, People and its Culture”

  1. hmong

    Keep up the good work. Helpful info on your post and interesting too. Hmong culture is so amazing.

  2. hmong

    interesting info i found here, hmong people are amazing, their culture as well.

  3. hmong

    is lao similar to hmong? interesting post, thanks.

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