Everything you need to know about Laos: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more
Laos: Landlocked East Asian Country with Ethereal Buddhist Tradition
Laos has an ancient past dating to the 14th Century when the Lao Kingdom was founded and which extended its influence to Vietnam and Cambodia as well. However later on the Lao influence was limited to Laos and the country came under Siamese (Thailand) occupation in the 18th Century before becoming a French protectorate. Laotians finally experienced independence in 1949, however it was only in 1975 when Laotians overthrew the four century old monarchy, only to find themselves under a communist dispensation that has continued till today. Laos slowly opened its economy in 1988 and has since then enjoyed consistent 6% plus GDP growth. In spite of the relative progress Laos is still largely agrarian with agriculture contributing to more than 80% of the GDP.
Laos Facts and Stats:
Laotians enjoy a tropical monsoon climate with temperature range between 38 degrees C in winter to 15 degrees C in winter. The summer season lasts from October to April while the rainy spell from may to September.
Laos Economy and Culture:
Laotian economy is still under-developed despite enjoying 6% plus economic growth from 1988 onwards. There is no railway network, archaic roadways, limited telecom facilities. The Laotian government has sought international support including that from Thailand for Laos’s development. Rice is the staple Laotian crop and 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture. Laos joined the ASEAN in 1997. Laos also has abundant mineral resources that include reserves of coal, gold, bauxite, tin and other highly valued minerals.
Laotian culture is a subtle mix of Buddhist and Animist traditions and there are about 49 ethnic groups present in Laos that attest to its vast diversity and cultural affluence. The Laotian indigenous cultural elements are present in all aspects of its life including the Laotian music, which is dominated by Khaen, a type of bamboo pipe and Laos national instrument. Rice is the staple Laotian food and rise cultivation carries its own culturo-religious significance.
Laos Tourist Attractions:
Laos is a perfect tourist destination for anyone wanting a glimpse into serene landscapes with cultural attractions in the form of Buddhist monasteries and ancient ruins. Tourism is the fastest growing industry in Laos, thanks largely to the government’s efforts. Laotian capital Vientiane has many pristine Buddhist monasteries apart from bustling markets. The Plain of Jars is a marvellous archaeological site believed to be over 2,000 years old and also a World Heritage Site. Luang Prabang in Laos is an ancient Laotian city with majestic buildings and serene landscapes for which it has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Other Tourist Attractions of Laos include:
Beijing, May 21 (IANS) A total of 812 drug crime suspects have been arrested as part of a joint anti-drug campaign launched by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand on the trans-boundary river of Mekong, Xinhua reported.
Washington, May 1 (IANS) A US federal advisory body has reiterated its concerns about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's admissibility to the US due to his alleged "complicity in the 2002 riots" in the state.
Washington, April 30 (IANS) Even as it acknowledges India as the world's most populous democracy, the Economist magazine's Index of Democracy 2012 ranks India 38th among 165 nations with an overall score of 7.52.
Beijing, Apr. 25 (Xinhua-ANI): ASEAN leaders Thursday reaffirmed their full support for all efforts to bring about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the early resumption of the Six-party Talks.
Thiruvananthapuram, April 21 (IANS) The central government has approved the introduction of visa-on-arrival (VoA) service at Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi airports, a minister said Sunday.
Hanoi, April 17 (IANS) Vietnam sent 32 karate martial artists to the Philippines for the second Southeast Asian Karatedo Championships to be held in Pampanga April 18-21.
Jaipur, April 15 (IANS) Indian authorities Monday said consultations were going on about allowing visas-on-arrival (VoAs) to citizens of around 10-16 countries, in addition to the present 11 nations.
New Delhi, Apr. 12 (ANI): The Visa on Arrival (VOA) scheme of the government for foreign tourists registered a growth of 63 percent during March 2013.
Beijing, April 11 (IANS) Chinese government will spend 1 billion yuan (about $161 million) in 2013 to protect Sanjiangyuan, a region which serves as the source of China's three biggest rivers, Xinhua reported.
Yangon, April 10 (IANS) Myanmar's finance and revenue ministry Wednesday appointed two foreign companies as sponsorship management consultant for upcoming 27th Southeast Asian Games to be held in Myanmar later this year.
Hanoi (Vietnam), April 8 (IANS Jungle Marathon -- a six-stage gruelling race through forests and the first of its kind in Vietnam -- will be held in the central Quang Binh province from May 31 to June 9.
Imphal, March 31 (IANS) For Rachel, 34, the journey from being an abandoned child to a widow, whose emaciated body battles HIV and cancer, has been a painful one. Rachel's only fault was that she unknowingly fell in love with a man who was an injecting drug user (IDU), contracted AIDS and infected her too with the incurable condition.
Kuala Lumpur, March 21 (IANS) The member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should further boost investment to weather uncertainties of the current global economic climate, said its deputy secretary-general Lim Hong Hin Thursday.
New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Despite an unimpressive performance in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifiers, India jumped 24 places and are ranked 143 in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday.
Beijing, Mar 1 (IANS) Myanmarese drug lord Naw Kham, convicted of murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong river in 2011, and three of his accomplices were executed Friday, a court in China announced.
New Delhi, Mar 1 (IANS) A proposal to extend the visa-on-arrival scheme to 16 countries was submitted Friday by Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, the tourism ministry said.
New Delhi, Feb. 12 (ANI): The Visa on Arrival (VOA) scheme of the Indian Government registered a growth of 24.4 per cent in January 2013 as compared to January 2012.
Beijing, Feb 5 (IANS) A total of 331 Chinese criminal suspects were repatriated from other countries in 2012 under joint efforts with foreign police, Xinhua reported.
New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) Talks on concluding a long-awaited Free Trade Agreement with the European Union will top the agenda when External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Monday heads to Germany, where he will meet Chancellor Angela Merkel, and later Belgium.
New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) Japanese tourists were issued the maximum Visas on Arrival (VoAs) in 2012, closely followed by New Zealanders, tourism ministry officials Tuesday.
Phnom Penh, Dec 27 (IANS) Cambodia and Thailand Thursday launched a single visa scheme for tourists, the Cambodian foreign ministry said. Indians are among people from 35 countries who are eligible for this visa.
London, Dec 25 (ANI): A couple from Britain has reportedly planned to beat a previous tandem journey record of 38,143kms from New Zealand to London.
Yangon, Dec 24 (IANS) Myanmar has reaffirmed its pledge to boost ASEAN-India relations and close cooperation with other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) Myanmar offers great opportunities for Indian business community to invest in infrastructure and power projects, visiting Myanmar President U. Thein Sein said here Friday.
New Delhi, Dec.21 (ANI): The India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit began in New Delhi with participating nations vowing to step up cooperation on maritime security, a move that comes amid tension with China in the potentially oil- and gas-rich South China Sea.
New Delhi, Dec.21 (ANI): A summit between India and ASEAN began in New Delhi with the hope of signing an upgraded free trade agreement.
New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) For the heads of state, government and even a sultan, it was the finest in Indian cuisine that was on offer at Taj Palace Hotel where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur hosted a luncheon in honour of ASEAN leaders here Friday.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh commenting over the growing relationship between India and ASEAN countries said, "India -ASEAN relations are at an exciting stage".......................
New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Friday said India and ASEAN have embarked on a new journey of closer cooperation and deeper ties for peace, progress and prosperity of the region, and the world at large.
In the move to enhance trading relationship to South East Asian countries, India Friday is set to sign on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)..............
New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Larik dancers from Indonesia swayed with kathak dancers from India, dudang dudang dancers from Brunei joined rhythm with India's famed kuchipudi artists while the Myanmarese did a cultural synthesis with Laotians. Various song and dance traditions representing 10 ASEAN countries fused in a rich cultural medley to celebrate the common cultural space and civilisation they have shared for over two millennia.
New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): India is set to sign an agreement on free trade in services and investment with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which could enhance trade up to $100 billion by 2015.
New Delhi, Dec 20 (ANI): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak met his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday and sought closer cooperation in security and economic sphere ahead of the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership summit.
Singapore, Dec 20 (IANS) India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have largely resolved their differences and are close to striking an upgraded free trade agreement, a media report Thursday quoted Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang as saying.
New Delhi, Dec 20 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee will receive the visiting heads of State of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
New Delhi, Dec 19 (ANI): President Pranab Mukherjee will receive the visiting heads of state/government of the ASEAN-India Special Commemorative Summit at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Thursday.
New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee will receive the ASEAN leadership at Rashtrapati Bhavan Thursday when they arrive in the capital to participate in the ASEAN-India Special Commemorative Summit, an official statement from the president's office said Wednesday.
New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) India and the 10-nation ASEAN will hold a two-day commemorative summit starting Thursday that is expected to culminate in a free trade agreement in services and a vision document on scaling up ties across diverse areas, including trade, energy, security and cultural connectivity.
New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) India is set to scale up its multi-faceted relations with the 10-nation Asean to new heights with the two sides expected to declare a free trade agreement (FTA) in services and investment at the two-day commemorative summit that starts Thursday.
New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) India is poised to give a big boost to its Look East policy when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holds bilateral talks with leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia on the sidelines of the two-day commemorative summit with the Asean regional grouping that starts here Thursday.
Patna, Dec 17 (IANS) Prime ministers of Thailand and Laos will visit the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar Thursday, an official said here Monday.
New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Delhiites may face traffic chaos during the three-day India-ASEAN summit during which much movement of VVIP state guests and their motorcades is expected.
Phnom Penh, Nov 20 (IANS) Southeast Asia is emerging resilient from the global economic turmoil and will grow at a "robust" average of 5.5 percent over the next five years, propelled by rising investment and domestic consumption, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Nov 19 (IANS) The ASEAN+3 (China, Japan and South Korea) Summit was held here Monday to discuss measures and actions to further enhance their cooperation in the future.
Phnom Penh, Nov 19 (IANS) A car rally from Jakarta to Delhi and an Indian Navy ship touching ports of the 10?member ASEAN countries are part of India's move to demonstrate connectivity and trade with this major regional bloc. India's trade with the bloc currently stands at $79 billion.
Manado (Indonesia), Nov 14 (IANS) Indian and Indonesian entrepreneurs have pledged to boost cooperation at a business seminar held in Indonesia's North Sulawesi island to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-India partnership.
Bangkok, Nov 14 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Thai Customs Tuesday seized 600 live cobras apparently destined for restaurants in Laos, where they are considered an aphrodisiac.
London, Nov 12 (IANS) Actor Shia LaBeouf got into a fight with a student in a bar when the latter tried to take his precious baseball cap.
New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) The number of foreign tourists opting for visa on arrival (VoA) rose by over 26 percent during January-October this year compared to the same period last year, an official said here Thursday.
Vientiane (Laos), Nov 6 (IANS) Energy cooperation between Europe and Asia should include "sharing of best energy practices" and promoting greater dialogue between energy exporting and importing countries, India said Tuesday.
Vientiane (Laos), Nov 6 (IANS) India Tuesday said the future destinies of Europe and Asia are connected and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) grouping needs to orient itself 'definitely' towards giving a push to such cooperation.
New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) In his first overseas visit after becoming external affairs minister, Salman Khurshid held a series of bilateral meetings with the prime ministers of Italy and Denmark and his counterparts from Germany, Bangladesh, Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Vientiane, Laos, Tuesday.
New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) Denmark Tuesday assured India that it would undertake a techno-legal examination in the case of Purulia arms drop accused Kim Davy, and initiate discussions for his extradition on that basis.
Vientianne (Laos), Nov.6 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on the sidelines of ASEM Summit today.
Vientiane (Laos), Nov.6 (ANI): Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt met with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the margins of the ASEM Summit at Vientiane.
Vientiane, Nov. 6 (Xinhua-ANI): With its inevitable rise, China has become a "positive influence" on the economical growth and cooperation of its neighbors in Southeast Asia, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said here on Tuesday.
New Delhi, Nov.5 (ANI): German Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle and Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid met on Monday on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Vientiane,Laos.
Srinagar, Nov.5 (ANI): A contingent of twelve rugby players from Jammu and Kashmir has left for Lahore, Pakistan, to participate in an international sports festival.
Islamabad, Nov 4 (IANS) Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf will attend a two-day Asia-Europe summit in Laos, his office said Saturday.
New Delhi, Nov. 2 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will lead the Indian delegation to the 9th Summit of Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), which will be held in Vientiane on 5-6 November.
New Delhi, Nov.1 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, will lead the Indian delegation to the 9th Summit of Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) which will be held in Vientiane on 5-6 November, 2012.
New Delhi, Nov 1 (IANS) In his first overseas visit after taking charge as foreign minister, Salman Khurshid will go to Laos next week to represent India at the 9th summit of the 48-member Asia-Europe meeting which seeks to enhance multi-faceted interaction between the two continents.
Hyderabad, Oct 26 (IANS) Stress is increasing in everyday life due to multiple social and economic factors but an expert assures a remedy through ZeNLP - the science of creating structured change in behaviour using simple "tribal meditation" techniques like clapping or chanting.
Jakarta, Oct 25 (IANS) Over 200 business representatives from India, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries have pledged to promote cooperation at a seminar held here as part of a series of events being organised to mark the 20th anniversary of their friendship.
Yangon, Oct 23 (IANS) A car rally from Indonesia to India covering nine countries will start Nov 25 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India friendship.
Washington, Oct. 20 (Xinhua-ANI): The U.S. Defense Department is open to considering a Thai request to allow Myanmar's military officers to observe a joint military exercise, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here on Friday.
New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) India Friday intensified its relations with the Asia-Europe Meeting, a 48-member grouping, as a meeting of a key ASEM institution ended with the unveiling of 18 cross-cutting projects that will scale up linkages between the two continents in diverse areas.
New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The number of foreign tourists opting for visa on arrival (VoA) rose by over 27 percent from January-September this year compared to the same period last year, an official said here Friday.
New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will go to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, next month to attend the 9th summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting, a 49-member grouping that seeks to build diplomatic and cultural bridges between the two continents.
Yangon, Oct 6 (IANS) Myanmar has extended its 15-year drug eradication plan by another five years, Xinhua reported Saturday.
New Delhi, Oct 2 (ANI): The eighth meeting of Heads of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM) will be held in New Delhi on Wednesday.
New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Indian Coast Guard and their Japanese counterparts will host eight heads of Asian coast guard agencies meet (HACGAM), an official statement said Tuesday. It will be held here Wednesday to discuss ways to combat piracy and step up maritime security.
Varanasi, Sep 29 (IANS) Tourists from countries having a sizeable Buddhist population such as Thailand and Malaysia would be provided visas on arrival, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said Saturday.
Beijing, Sep 23 (IANS) China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have launched a plan to boost cooperation in the fields of science and technology.
Beijing, Sep 21 (IANS) China Friday vowed to resolve its differences with neighbours concerning territorial rights through friendly negotiations.
New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) A total of 9,412 visas on arrival (VoAs) were issued till August compared to 7,514 during corresponding period of 2011, registering a growth of 25.3 percent, an official said Tuesday.
New Delhi, Sept 4 (IANS) India and five other nations of the Mekong Ganga grouping -Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia - Tuesday decided to fast-track key connectivity projects in Southeast Asia and firmed up new pathways of developmental cooperation in diverse areas, including food security.
Beijing, Sep 3 (IANS) Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie's India visit is "a sign that military exchanges between China and India are back on track", an expert told a Chinese daily.
Siem Reap (Cambodia), Aug 31 (Xinhua) Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic ministers agreed Friday to deepen the bloc's integration efforts towards realising an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, officials said.
Beijing, Aug 30 (IANS) Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie Wednesday began a three-day Asian tour that will also take him to India.
New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) India continued to be a favourite overseas destination for world leaders with as many as 21 heads of state or government visiting the country in the first eight months of this year and the leaders of Russia, Australia and Canada on the way.
Paris, Aug 24 (IANS) France's National Museum of Natural History has announced the discovery of the skull of the oldest Asian modern man, Xinhua reported.
Washington, August 21 (ANI): Researchers have described an ancient skull recovered from a cave in the Annamite Mountains in northern Laos as the oldest modern human fossil found in Southeast Asia, pushing back the clock on modern human migration through the region by as much as 20,000 years.
Melbourne, August 15 (ANI): Asian countries have been found to be at maximum risk from being devastated by earthquakes, floods, storms and other natural hazards.
New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) A total of 941 visas were issued under the Visa on Arrival (VoA) scheme in July 2012 as compared to 820 visas in July last year, marking a growth of 14.8 percent, the tourism ministry said Monday.
Berlin, Aug 10 (IANS) A scientist has discovered an eyeless huntsman spider, named the Sinopoda scurion, the first of its kind.
New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Chiefs of coast guard agencies of 17 Asian nations will meet here in October this year when they are expected to discuss issues ranging from piracy in the region to law enforcement, maritime crimes and disaster management.
Washington, July 18 (ANI): US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has broken all travel records by visiting more countries than any other U.S. Secretary of State did in the past, according to a report.
The number of Visa on Arrivals (VoAs) recorded a significant increase of more than 12 percent in June this year in comparison to the same period last year, officials said Wednesday. According to the data of ministry of tourism, a total number of 864 VoAs were issued last month as compared to 770 VoAs that were issued during the month of June last year, thus registering a positive growth of 12.2 percent.
Phnom Penh, July 11 (IANS) The US wants to strengthen relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) The Visa on Arrivals (VoAs) recorded an increase of over 12 percent in the month of June compared to the same period last year, officials said Wednesday.
Phnom Penh (Cambodia), July 8 (Xinhua-ANI): Four out of the five recognized nuclear-weapon states (P5) will not be ready to sign on the protocol to the treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meeting next week, a Cambodian senior official said Sunday.
Islamabad, July 6 (ANI): Anti-drug smuggling agencies in Pakistan seize only a small fraction of the heroin smuggled from Afghanistan and pass on to the global market, custom officials in Pakistan have revealed.
Beijing, June 27 (IANS) China's picturesque Xishuangbanna region near the Myanmar border is planning to attract 15 million tourists annually by 2015.
Beijing, June 26 (IANS) Golden Triangle, an area between Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, is still a major source of drugs in China, the government said Tuesday.
Beijing, June 26 (Xinhua-ANI): Authorities in southwest China's Yunnan province on Tuesday destroyed more than 55 tonnes of confiscated precursor chemicals used to produce heroin and methamphetamine, or "ice."
Jakarta, June 12 (IANS) India's Ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh Tuesday met the country's parliamentary speaker Marzuki Alie and handed him an invitation to visit India.
New Delhi/Darjeeling, June 9 (IANS) A new chapter in cultural exchange opened in West Bengal's Darjeeling hills Saturday with the inauguration of a week-long international arts residency programme featuring 25 artists from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member-countries.
New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) There was a decline of over 6 percent in Visa on Arrival (VoA) from 11 countries in May this year compared to the same period last year, officials said Thursday.
Factfile on Myanmar, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday began a three-day visit - the first by an Indian prime minister in 25 years.