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Laos Information

Area
236,800 sq km (91,400 sq miles).

Population
5,529,000 (2002).

Population Density
23.3 per sq km (2002).

Capital
Vientiane.
Population: 663,000 (UN estimate 2001).

Government
People’s Republic since 1975. Gained independence from France in 1953.
Head of State: Khamtai Siphandon since 1998.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Boungnang Volachit since 2001.

Language
The official language is Lao, however, many tribal languages are also spoken. French, Vietnamese and some English are
in circulation.

Religion
The Laos-Lum (Valley Laos) people follow the Hinayana (Theravada) form of Buddhism. The religions of the Laos-Theung (Laos of the mountain tops) range from traditional Confucianism to animism and Christianity.

Electricity
230 volts AC, 50Hz.

Telephone
Restricted IDD available. Country code: 856. The General Post Office (GPO) offers public telephones for national and international calls. The are also many card phone booths available.

Mobile telephone
Coverage is sporadic and mainly, though not exclusively, situated around Vientiane.

Internet
Internet cafes are located in the major towns.

Post
The General Post Office (GPO), is beside the Morning Market in Vientiane. Normal mail service is inexpensive and generally reliable, however for urgent or valuable mail courier is recommended.

MEDIA
Press: English-language newspapers in Laos include the Vientiane Times; Le Rénovateur is a French language newspaper.
TV: Lao National TV (TVNL) and Laos Television 3, a joint venture with a Thai company, are the main TV channels.
Radio: Lao National Radio is the national radio station.

Public Holidays
Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2006-June 2007 period.

Jan 1 2006:    New Year’s Day.
Jan 6:    Pathet Lao Day.
Jan 20:    Army Day.
Jan 29:    Chinese New Year.
Mar 8:    International Women’s Day.
Mar 22:    Day of the People’s Party.
Apr 13-15:   * Lao New Year (Pi Mai).
May 1:    Labor Day.
May 13:    Birth of Buddha.
Jul 11:    Khao Pansa (Buddhist Fast begins).
Jun 1:    Children’s Day.
Aug 13:    Lao Issara (Day of the Free Laos).
Oct 2:    Bouk ok Pansa (Buddhist Fast ends).
Oct 12:    Day of Liberation.
Dec 2:    National Day.

Jan 1 2007:    New Year’s Day.
Jan 6:    Pathet Lao Day.
Jan 20:    Army Day.
Feb 18:    Chinese New Year.
Mar 8:    International Women’s Day.
Mar 22:    Day of the People’s Party.
Apr 13-15*:    Lao New Year (Pi Mai).
May 1:    Labor Day.
May:   Birth of the Buddha.
Jun 1:    Children’s Day.
Jun/Jul:    Khao Pansa (Buddhist Fast begins).

Note
*Variations may occur.

Contact Information:

Location
South-East Asia.

Time: GMT + 7.

Lao National Tourism Authority (LNTA)
PO Box 3556, Lane Xang Avenue, Hadsady, Chanthaboury, Vientiane, Laos
Tel: (21) 222 971.
Website: http://www.visit-mekong.com/laos

Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in France
74 Avenue Raymond Poincaré, 75116 Paris, France
Tel: (1) 4553 0298.
Website: http://www.laoparis.com

Asia Tourist
Hanoi- Vietnam
Tel: (84-4) 8726274
Website: http://www.asia-tourist.com

Adventure World Ltd
Street Address: 179 Progress Drive, Bibra Lake, 6163 Western Australia, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 1186, Bibra Lake, 6965 WA, Australia
Tel: (8) 5417 9666.
Website: http://www.adventureworld.net.au

Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in the USA
2222 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 332 6416.
Website: http://www.laoembassy.com
Also deals with enquiries from Canada and Mexico.