Laos

People are smiling, calm, Nice... Landscapes have superb air. We will love to discover this country!

La vidéo de notre passage au Laos

Avec une petit laotien qui imite Thomas (ou Thomas qui imite le laotien ?)

Where is Laos?

Its flag:

drapeau laos

General data

Area : 236 800 km².

Population : 6.5 million inhabitants.

Official religion : Buddhism (67%). other: Catholic 1.5% - Muslims: barely 1%

Political regime : Republic to Marxist ideology since 1975.

Capital : Vientiane.

Head of State : lieutenant general Choummaly Sayasone (since 2006).

Languages : lao, thai dialects (hmong, belongs and Sino-Tibetan), french and English.

Currency : the kip: 10 000 kip = 1 euro

Standard of living : more than three quarters of the population live on less than $2 per day.

Life expectancy : 67 years.

Sites inscribed in the world heritage of Unesco : the city of Luang Prabang (1995); wat Phou and ancient settlements related to the Champasak cultural landscape (2001). Should move to these two locations!

Lag : 5 h in summer, 6 h in winter.

The economy

Agriculture

With the exploitation of forests and fisheries, the agriculture sector generates about 35% of the GDP of the country, occupying more than 75% of the active population. Laotian agriculture is still conducted with traditional methods, without chemical fertilizers or technologies; It occupies only 8% of the cultivable land, and therefore has a great potential of development.

Industry

The textile industry remains a sector key to the economy and the development of Laos. Activity generates many jobs and more than 25% of the total exports of the country. Apart from the textile industry remains almost non-existent.

Mining resources

Very rich, the basement of Laos has never really been exploited. The mining industry therefore enjoys a huge potential for development.

Hydropower

Although still far from its global potential for exploitation, hydroelectric power is already positioned as the spearhead of the Lao economy.

International assistance

Very important - more - aid mainly finances infrastructure development and poverty reduction programmes. Major creditors include the Japan, the Sweden and the France...

Geography

The first feature of Laos is to not have access to the sea. The country extends from North to South on a length of nearly 1,500 kilometres. It has common borders with the Thailand, the Cambodia, the Viet Nam, the China and Myanmar (country formerly known as Burma).

The Mekong River is a river, very important in the life of the country. The almost all of the arable land is located in the vicinity of the River, where concentrates more than half of the population.

Climate

Like its neighbours the country alternates between a dry season and a wet season.

November to March: it is dry season and the temperatures are not too high.
From April to October, Laos is subject to the regime of monsoons. The hottest months are April and may.

Kitchen

Laotian food is close to Thai cuisine but is characterized by the use of yet more ofaromatic herbs and chillies. Rice, and more particularly the steamed sticky riceis the basis of the diet. The soup scented are also very popular.

Drinks

Fruit juices: many, fresh and tasty.
Tea: sometimes replaces the water served at table. We love!
Coffee : the plantations have been introduced by the French on the Bolovens plateau. Found almost everywhere. In general, it is served with condensed milk sweetened with ice cubes.

-Beer : extremely common in Laos. The Beer Laobrewed near Vientiane is in a situation of monopoly. It is very good and its taste competes with our good European beers.

Sports and recreation Laos

Volleyball and Katow

Volleyball is the most popular sport in Laos. There are volleyball courts into the most remote Bush villages, and even in monasteries.

The katow is played with a ball or a ball in rattan or bamboo, that can be touched with the feet or all parts of the body except the hands and arms.

Petanque

This legacy of the French presence continues with astonishing popularity. There of bowling into flustered villages. Laotians gather here late afternoon and take to Marius, punctuating their reviews of French expressions such as "it's good!

Football

Lao Youth is crazy! The effigy of Japanese or Korean players jerseys are legion and vacant, recreational courses or the sandbanks of the Mekong are transformed the night in improvised land. To get an idea of the impact of the world on Buddhist culture Cup, watch "The cutting" movie released in 1998: (Tibetan in the film) monks make the wall at night to go to the final.

Cockfighting

Very popular, especially in the region of Luang Prabang. They are officially banned since 1993, but enforcement of this law is very symbolic. They take place in general on Sunday or during certain religious festivals. Bets are organized, even if officially here yet, gambling are banned in Laos.

Manners and customs

Relatively common to all countries in the region.

Never get angry Neither show is losing patience. Always keep calm, avoid to shout or speak too loudly.
Avoid touching the head the Laotians, regarded as sacred. Avoid designate someone or something with the foot and climb on statues of the Buddha. In the temples, should be shoes and discover the head. Women should not reach out to the monks, or the touch. If they want to make them a present, they must place it on a medium such as a table. The entries to the temples them will be banned if they wear short skirts and Bare shoulders.
Avoid of affection in public.

Thank you The backpacker !

The Lao database

This is the language that we want to try to learn for this month's trip to Laos. Was realized in Cambodia than knowing a few basics of the language greatly facilitates life!

Hello: SABAI dee
Are you okay? : SABAI dee bo ?
Thank you: khop chai
Thank you very much: khop chai lai lai
Please: Karuna
Excuse me: Kho Thoth
Good bye: Pai kon
Yes: Maen
No: Bo
I don't understand: Khoi bo kao chai

Toilet: Hong nam
Where are the toilets? Hong nam yu sai?

How many? Tao dai
Eat: Kin kao
Drink: Kin nam
«Health»: NIOC nioc!
The: Nam its
Coffee: Ka feh
Milk: name
Sugar: Nam tan
Chopsticks: may tou (wooden or plastic rod)

Cold: Yen
Hot: Hon
Spicy: Phet
Initial steps: Bo phet
Menu: naked meh

One: neung
Two: song
Three: Sam
Four: If
Five: HA
Six: Hok
Seven: Chet
Eight: Phet
New: Kao
Ten: SIP
Eleven: SIP and
Twelve: SIP song
Thirteen: SIP sam
Fourteen: SIP if
Fifteen: SIP ha
Sixteen: SIP hok
Seventeen: SIP chet
Eighteen: SIP phet
Nineteen: SIP kao
Twenty: Sao
Trento: Sam sip
Forty: If sip
Fifty: HA sip

Cent: Act neung
One hundred and one: law and
One hundred and two: law song
Two hundred: song Act
Two hundred and three: song Act sat
Mile: Phan neung

One thousand one hundred: Phan law
Twenty thousand: phan Sao
Fifty thousand: HA sip phan