Five million out of 23,680,000 hectares of Laos's total land area is suitable for cultivation, and seventeen percent of the land area, between 850,000 and 900,000 hectares, is cultivated. Laos is highly vulnerable to the effects of global climate change; nearly all provinces in Laos are at high risks from climate change.[1]. Otherwise, travel is by ox-cart over level terrain or by foot. About 4,600 kilometers of navigable waterways are located within the Mekong, the Ou, and nine other rivers. [16] Bringing in alien species to promote economic development has brought notable success such as coffee, which is now one of Lao's main exports. There is also a significant amount of fishing. [14] A study found a correlation between the loss of forest coverage with socio-economic development and physical factors, such as the elevation and slope of the land or its distance to main roads. Laos has tropical rainforests of broad-leaved evergreens in the north and monsoon forests of mixed evergreens and deciduous trees in the south. Atlas of Laos - Wikimedia Commons #42696. [20], USAID also implemented a program called Lowering Emissions in Asia's Forests (LEAF) from 2011 to 2016 to reduce greenhouse gases and minimize the consequences of deforestation. Countries near Laos include Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. Because of its mountainous topography and lack of development, Laos has few reliable transportation routes. The road system is not extensive. A rudimentary network begun under French colonial rule and continued from the 1950s has provided an important means of increased inter-village communication, movement of market goods, and a focus for new settlements. The forests and fields support a wealth of wildlife, including nearly 200 species of mammals, about the same number of reptiles and amphibians, and some 700 varieties of birds. The public and private trade associations handle river traffic. A few rivers in eastern Laos flow eastward through gaps in the Annamese Cordillera to reach the Gulf of Tonkin; the most important of these is the Ma River, which rises in the northeast, just inside the Vietnam border. Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d. Very little is known about the people who created the jars. It is located in the Northern and Eastern hemispheres of the Earth. Forest coverage decreased to 41 percent in a 2002 survey. Laos Geography - Laos Tourist #42697. The capital is Vientiane (Lao: Viangchan), located on the Mekong River in the northern portion of the country. Laos is a country with a small population which is located in the continent/region of Asia. Sainyabuli. About seventy percent of its geographic area is made up of mountain ranges, highlands, plateaux, and rivers cut through. Where is Vientiane | Location of Vientiane in Laos Map #42700. Confined in the center of the … [14] While the poor depended more on nonwood commodities from the forest to increase food security, the wealthier group would harvest timber and wood for environmental income. Where is Laos Located? As a result of ongoing improvements in the road system started during the early 1990s, it is expected that in the future villagers will more easily be able to seek medical care, send children to schools at district centers, and work outside the village. [12], Most of the deforestation during the 1980s stemmed from the northern region in which the poor destroyed about 300,000 hectares annually. The trees mostly only reach their secondary growth. The first comprehensive national population census of Laos was taken in 1985; it recorded a population of about 3.57 million. Thailand lies to the upper northwest of Thailand, while Laos is to the northeast. It's located at the northeast edge of Southeast Asia and borders Thailand, Laos, China, Tibet, India, and Bangladesh. Northern Laos has tropical rainforests with broader-leaved evergreens and monsoon forests of mixed evergreen and in the south is filled with deciduous trees. Laos × Show Labels. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Explore Laos Using Google Earth: [21] An anonymous witness account revealed that particular provincial governors are safeguarding the hidden illegal lumber, manipulating the reports, and hiding the total number of seized logs to protect the interests of their foreign investors. Author of. Upland soils derived from crystalline, granitic, schistose, or sandstone parent rocks generally are more acidic and much less fertile. [5] By building dams Laos is willing to become the battery of Asia by selling electricity to its neighboring countries. Although their purpose is not known with certainty, archaeologists believe they were used as urns in burial ritua… [22], Funded by the German government through the KfW development bank, the GIZ CliPAD project oversaw the creation of a national and provincial REDD+ framework through local-level mitigation measures and sustainable financing models. total: 236,800 km² Numerous species of birds live in the lowlands. The southern "panhandle" of the country contains large level areas in Savannakhét and Champasak provinces that are well suited for extensive paddy rice cultivation and livestock raising. Thus, ethnic minority populations are found on both the Laotian and Vietnamese sides of the frontier. These mountains are sparsely populated by tribal minorities who traditionally have not acknowledged the border with Vietnam any more than lowland Lao have been constrained by the 1,754-kilometre Mekong River border with Thailand. Description: This map shows where Laos is located on the Asia map. The annual growth was estimated at between 2.6 and 3.0 percent. Cambodia shares both its eastern and southern borders with Laos. Sainyabuli is located in Laos (Xiagnabouli) and time zone Asia/Vientiane. Savada, Andrea Matles, et al. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. Laos after the Geneva Conference, 1954–75, Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Laos, Laos - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Laos - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), Ayutthaya (Ayudhya) Kingdom mid-15th century. Smaller power boats and pirogues provide an important means of transportation on many of the tributaries of the Mekong. The geologically diverse landscape of Laos, with its forested mountains, upland plateaus and lowland plains, supports an equally diverse population that is united largely through agriculture, particularly the cultivation of rice. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 13 Nov. 2016. Laos shares its short—only 541 kilometres—southern border with Cambodia, and ancient Khmer ruins at Wat Pho and other southern locations attest to the long history of contact between the Lao and the Khmer. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. This inaccessibility has historically limited the ability of any government to maintain a presence in areas distant from the national or provincial capitals and has limited interchange and communication among villages and ethnic groups. The only extensive lowlands lie along the eastern bank of the Mekong River. Inland waterways, including the Mekong River, is the second most important source of transport network. Typically there are only two ways to cultivate: either the wet-field paddy system practiced among the Lao Loum or lowland in Lao, or the swidden cultivation system practiced in the hills. City rainfall stations have recorded that Savannakhét averages 1,440 millimeters (57 inches) of rain annually; Vientiane receives about 1,700 millimeters (67 inches), and Louangphrabang (Luang Prabang) receives about 1,360 millimeters (54 inches). This mountainous landscape extends across most of the north of the country, except for the plain of Vientiane and the Plain of Jars in the Xiangkhoang Plateau. Residents in the lower lands and villages of smaller river banks have traditionally traveled in pirogues for fishing, trading, or visiting up and down the river for limited distances. The history of the stone jars is shrouded in mystery. Discrepancies in the number of groups resulted from inconsistent definitions of what constitutes an ethnic group as opposed to a subgroup, as well as incomplete knowledge about the groups themselves. Reducing the rural population, allowing for tree plantation development, and transitioning from upland rice cultivation to commercial market oriented agricultural practices, contributed to the efforts increasing the amount of forest coverage in Laos. Please select which sections you would like to print: While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Updates? Numerous water birds live in the lowlands. Laos is an independent republic, and a landlocked nation in Southeast Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam. [23] Local communities were prompted to apply the learned sustainable practices regarding natural resource management and explore alternative means of income, to reduce the dependency on the environment's natural resources. In the past, when France granted Laos partial independence in 1949, China adopted Maoism (a form of Stalinist principles) after the establishment of the People's Republic of China by … An outstanding hydrodynamic characteristic of the Mekong River is the role of wat… It has a relaxing atmosphere you won’t find in many capitals across the world – many travelers enjoy a relaxing riverside break with a cold beer and sunset views over the Mekong. Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in northern Laos, is an important yet charming little town that ranks among the must-visit destinations in the country. [13] Despite all this, there have been other policy attempts and interventions that have been successful in aiding the problem. Laos. Snakes, skinks, frogs, and geckoes are abundant. Laos is located in southeastern Asia. Common mammals are gaurs (wild oxen), deer, bears, and monkeys. Geckoes, snakes, skinks, and frogs are abundant; several types of turtles are threatened. The Mekong River is only navigable for about seventy percent of its length due to rapids and low water levels in the dry season. The country is officially called the “Democratic People’s … Laos’ hammock-flopping mecca has been catering to weary travellers for years. water: 6,000 km², Area - comparative: slightly larger than the US state of Minnesota slightly smaller than half of the Canadian territory of the Yukon slightly smaller than the United Kingdom, Land boundaries: Theory & Society 38.1 (2009): 25-55. [13] A study conducted in Savannakhet Province revealed a pattern in which the households extracting resources from the forest tended to be the rural poor. Such droughts often are regional, leaving production in other parts of the country unaffected. Interactions—sometimes hostile, sometimes hospitable—with the neighbouring Khmer (Cambodian), Siamese (Thai), and Myanmar (Burmese) kingdoms between the 5th and the mid-19th century indirectly imbued Laos with elements of Indian culture, including Buddhism, the religion now practiced by most of the population. It is bordered by Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) to the west, China to the north, Vietnam to the east, and Cambodia to the south. The closest major cities include Hue, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang and Phnum Penh. Soils are found commonly throughout the floodplains. The eastern border with Vietnam extends for 2,130 kilometres, mostly along the crest of the Annamite Chain, and serves as a physical barrier between the Chinese-influenced culture of Vietnam and the Indianized states of Laos and Thailand. [18] Of the commercial market oriented agricultural practices, the one that saw great success in forest coverage increase is linked to the Southern region's rubber plantations, which has been increasing in number due to rubber being a valuable commodity giving farmers incentive to plant more trees. Its location has often made it a buffer state between more powerful neighboring states, as well as a crossroads for trade and communication. Omissions? Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Malaysia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), and Cambodia. Most Extreme Points in all Four Directions. / Laos Map – Laos is a Southeast Asian country. [8][9][10][11], A 1992 government survey indicated that forests occupied about 48 percent of Laos's land area. The steep mountains and lack of roads have caused upland ethnic groups to rely entirely on pack baskets and horse packing for transportation. The Mekong and Nam Ou are the only natural channels suitable for large-draft boat transportation, and from December through May low water limits the size of the draft that may be used over many routes. Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. Laos, landlocked country of northeast-central mainland Southeast Asia. It consists of an irregularly round portion in the north that narrows into a peninsula-like region stretching to the southeast. During the rainy season (May to October), the winds of the southwest monsoon deposit an average rainfall of 50 to 90 inches (1,300 to 2,300 mm), with totals reaching some 160 inches (4,100 mm) on the Bolovens Plateau. Burma has beautiful scenery and 1,200 miles of coastline along the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, however, tourism numbers are far lower than those of neighboring Thailand and Laos. Laos is a mountainous country, especially in the north, where peaks rise above 9,000 ft (2,800 m). The topography of Laos is largely mountainous, with the Annamite Range in the northeast and east and the Luang Prabang Range in the northwest, among other ranges typically characterized by steep terrain. Although the Mekong was established as a border by French colonial forces, travel from one side to the other has been significantly limited only since the establishment of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR, or Laos) in 1975. They come in varying sizes up to three meters high, weighing up to several tons. Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, located between Thailand to the southwest and Vietnam to the east, Burma and China to the north, and Cambodia to the south. Laos has a tropical climate, with a pronounced rainy season from May through October, a cool dry season from November through February, and a hot dry season in March and April. Upland soils derive from granitic, schistose, or sandstone parent rocks more acidic and less fertile. Vientiane, located on the north-eastern bank of the Mekong, serves as the capital of Laos. Where is Laos located on the map? It features former royal palaces and more than 30 temples, old French colonial architecture as well as beautiful natural sites. Guided by Marxist-Leninist ideology, Laos emerged from the turmoil in 1975 as a communist country. Laos is an independent nation located in Southeastern Asia. Corrections? Migration and international conflict have contributed to the present ethnic composition of the country and to the geographic distribution of its ethnic groups. The dry season (November to April) is dominated by the northeast monsoon. Agricultural cultivation is possible during with varying weather on a small portion of land area apart from the Vientiane plain and the lowlands along the Mekong Valley. In the monsoon forest areas the ground is covered with tall, coarse grass called tranh; the trees are mostly secondary growth, with an abundance of bamboo, scrub, and wild banana. However, due to a lack of strong political leadership, the collaborative efforts between LEAF and CliPAD were impeded, resulting in LEAF downsizing the scope of the programs and processes. Elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers, as well as several types of wild oxen, monkeys, and gibbons, are among the country’s endangered mammals. The general slope of the land in Laos is downhill from east to west, and all the major rivers—the Tha, Beng, Ou, Ngum, Kading, Bangfai, Banghiang, and Kong—are tributaries of the Mekong (Mènam Khong). On the Xiangkhoang Plateau in north-central Laos, the Plain of Jars (Thông Haihin; the name derived from large prehistoric stone jars discovered there) consists of extensive rolling grasslands rather than a true plain and provides a hub of communications. 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