LAOS, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Its population was estimated to be 6.5 million.
Laos traces its history to the Kingdom which existed from the 14th to the 18th century when it split into three separate kingdoms. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three kingdoms, Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak, uniting to form what is now known as Laos. Laos became independent in 1953.
The capital city is Vientiane. Other large cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse. The official language is Lao.
Stone tools discovered in northern Laos attest to the presence of hunter-gatherers from at least 40,000 years ago. Archeological evidence suggests agriculturist society developed during the 4th millennia B.C.