Laos is a lovely, landlocked country that many travelers and backpackers have preferred for several years.
This country is beginning to make its way onto many tourist lists because of its untouched natural beauty, intriguing history, and vibrant culture.
Moreover, Laos is even the home to many odd, funny, and unusual facts that can amaze many foreigners who do not know much about this least explored part of Southeast Asia.
So, in this article, we will now discuss some amazing facts about this little country called Laos.
Mind-Blowing Laos facts
Laos has thousands of islands but no ocean
Laos is a completely landlocked country in Southeast Asia. In the southern part of Laos, there is one of the most amazing natural attractions en route to the famous Mekong River-Si Phan Don, which is commonly called the 4000 Islands.
These beautiful islands are bound with turquoise waves and powdery shores, making them a perfect destination for nature lovers. Some of the main islands of this beautiful country include Don Det, Don Kong, Don Khon, and Don Som.
The people of Laos consume more sticky rice than others
Sticky rice, the versatile national staple, is consumed in this little country more than anywhere else in the world.
Traditionally eaten with their hands, served fermented, sweet, or sour, 155 kilograms of this specific dish is consumed by every Laotian annually.
In contrast, the average American or European eats only about 9 kilograms of rice annually. In fact, the people of Laos usually refer to themselves as “luk khao now” or “children or descendants of sticky rice.”
Laos is home to a ‘crater’ lake.
A stunning volcanic lake called Nong Fa Lake is seen at elevated levels in the beautiful mountains of southeast Laos. This lake is shrouded in respect, legends, and even fear.
The people of Laos refuse to bathe or swim in this lake’s waters as they believe it is home to a giant snake pig that will eat anyone who dares to wade into its depths.
Translated as ‘sky lake,’ Nong Fa Lake is believed to be about 78 meters in depth, although locals cannot be sure because attempts to measure this lake’s depth have not been successful.
This country is the most bombed place in the world.
Laos has become the world’s most bombed place due to the bombings of the United States on Laos during the Vietnam War, which continued for nine years, from 1964 to 1973.
During that time, the US dropped almost more than two million tons of bombs across this small country. Around 30% of these bombs didn’t explode, making most of Laos’ land unusable for agriculture.
Still today, hundreds of Laotians are killed or injured due to grenades or bombs discovered accidentally.
Laos is home to an amazing abundance of wildlife.
The jungles of Laos are home to a striking abundance of wildlife, and this country is even the breeding ground for animals like white-cheeked gibbons, King Cobras, Asian black bears, tigers, etc.
Some other wild animals in this country include sun bears, leopard cats, and leopards. Night safaris at the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Biodiversity Conservation Area allow visitors to spot a few nocturnal, shyer animals.
Beerlao is Laos’ national beer.
Beerlao is a national icon in Laos and has won several significant awards. This beer is produced from Jasmine rice and yeast imported from Germany.
This beer has been recognized in different publications, like the Wall Street Journal and the NY Times, in addition to awards in some beer competitions.
Laos has 7 million people.
Loas is mainly a Buddhist country, with over 60% of its people practicing Buddhism. Also, most boys in this country between the ages of 8 and 20 can be expected to become novice monks for at least three months.
Also, according to the latest statistics, this little country has about 7 million people. Compared to its neighboring nations, Laos is not a densely populated country.
There are just around 32 people per kilometer square, which is almost 4 times less than the population density of Thailand.
Laos’ currency is Kip.
Kip is the local currency of this beautiful country. It is a closed currency, which means it can’t be bought or sold outside the country.
So, if a traveler has any Lao Kip remaining before leaving this country, he must use them or keep them as a souvenir.
Moreover, US Dollars are widely accepted as currency by many sellers. However, you will get the change back in Kip. Also, the Thai Baht is accepted in the southern part of this country.
Silk and Coffee of Laos
Laos is famous for its production of handwoven silk, and the finished goods can be purchased in different markets across the country.
Still today, many weavers are using ancient methods of weaving that can produce top-quality silk products.
Also, coffee is one of the primary agricultural products of this country. Coffee plants were purchased in the early 20th century from France, and since then, it has become one of the main agricultural exports of Laos.
The volcanic soil in this Bolaven Plateau of Laos provides some excellent growing conditions for coffee.
The most famous dish and flower of Laos
Larb is Laos’s most famous national dish, and this dish can be described as a certain kind of meat salad.
This dish is also popular in northern Thailand, mainly among Hmong and Lao people, who have made it an important part of Thai cuisine.
Also, Champa is regarded as a sacred flower by the people of Laos. The flower Dok Champa can be seen at temples in Laos. This flower represents joy in life, sincerity, and also a symbol of luck.
Laos is a communist country.
Laos is one of the five remaining nations led by communist governments. Laos’s recent ruling party is the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, previously known as the Lao People’s Party, which got power after the Laotian Civil War in 1975.
In 1950, the Pathet Lao movement started, and they were associated with the communists of Vietnam. Still today, one may see flags with the sickle and hammer, which are vital symbols of communism.
The largest waterfall in Southeast Asia
The Khone Phapheng waterfall, also popular as “The Niagara of the East,” is situated on the Mekong River in southern Laos. It is Southeast Asia’s largest waterfall, with its highest point of about 21 meters.
The rapids stretch around 10 kilometers down the length of Laos’ Mekong River. This waterfall is the main reason why many people love to visit Laos.
This little country Laos is home to one of the weirdest competitive betting sports called rhinoceros beetle wrestling.
The first beetle to seriously maim, injure, or even kill its opponent beetle will be the victorious winner.
People who participate in this enjoyment need to bet on which beetle they believe it is most likely to win. In this method, rhinoceros beetle wrestling has become the locals’ competitive and enthusiastic pastime.
In Laos, you can see ‘Smiling’ Irrawaddy dolphins.
The Irrawaddy dolphins, with their upturned mouths and rounded noses, have become famous as ‘The smiling faces of the Mekong.’
These unique aquatic animals have been dwindling drastically in numbers and are listed as critically endangered due to electrofishing and pollution.
Today, there are only 60 of them are thought to remain in the Mekong River, and very soon, these beautiful mammals might well be extinct in Laos.
However, conservation efforts are underway to save and protect these amazing dolphins.
The oldest human fossil in Southeast Asia
An ancient skull was found in the Tam Pa Ling Cave. This cave is located in Annamite Mountains, in the north of Laos. That skull was discovered along with a much older jawbone, almost 46,000 years old.
This discovery offered substantial evidence that ancient African people inhabited varied habitats much earlier than previously believed.
Laos is the one and only landlocked country in Southeast Asia
Laos is an independent republic in Southeast Asia. This country is bordered by west Vietnam and northeast Thailand and is surrounded by Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, China, and Vietnam.
Previously being landlocked had been considered a disadvantage because countries are cut off from fishing, sea trade, and international exporting and importing.
However, the Lao government has advocated that Laos is mainly a land bridge that may offer the most direct land transportation between its neighbors.
The ‘Land of a million elephants
Though decreasing in numbers, the wild elephant is regarded as one of the national symbols of Laos and used to be popular as ‘Lane Xang,’ which can be translated as “The Land of a Million Elephants.” King Fa Ngum gave this name in 1354 as his kingdom was the living place of these wild elephants.
The Plain of Jars
Home to a puzzling and very mysterious pottery site on the Xiangkhoang Plateau is called The Plain of Jars.
This landscape is strewn with hundreds of stone jars, and almost no one knows the exact usage of these jars. However, their origin is considered to be the Stone Age of 500 BC- 500 AD.
Some say these jars are a vital part of local burial ceremonies, while others say that those jars once contained drink for giants living in nearby mountains.
So, Laos is a beautiful country famous for its natural beauty, rich culture, diverse wildlife, tasty drinks, and many more.
At the end of this article, we have come to know 18 really interesting facts about Laos. These facts offer us a clear picture of this little yet beautiful land-locked country. To get some additional amazing facts, you can see our website.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.