Laos is a landlocked country located in the heart of Southeast Asia. The Laotian people live in a country of interesting and wonderful geography whose terrain ranges from low-lying river deltas to towering mountains. From the mountaintops that border China to the Mekong River and its tributaries, Laos offers a study in contrasts—mountains, rain forest, and rivers. Here are ten interesting facts about Laotian geography:
1. Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia that is bordered by the countries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and China.
A landlocked nation lacks access to the sea and is encircled by land. Currently, there are five partially recognized governments and 45 landlocked nations worldwide.
There are now 49 nations that are entirely encircled by at least one other nation, including five states that are only partially recognized. The remaining nations are located in Africa, Europe, and Asia, with the exception of two South American nations (Bolivia and Paraguay).
The word “landlocked” derives from the phrase “land-in-lock,” which describes a location that is both locked into a piece of land and also a location that lacks access to the sea.
2. The largest river in Laos is the Mekong River.
About 350,000 square kilometers of the Mekong River is located in Laos, which has only about 130,000 square kilometers of land. The Mekong, which is over 2,800 kilometers long, drains an area of 796,000 square kilometers.Unlike most of the rivers in the world, which flow into the sea, this river flows from north to south, from China to Vietnam. Unlike most of the rivers in the world, which flow into the sea, this river flows from north to south.
3. Laos is home to the largest waterfall in the world.
The Khone Falls are on the Mekong River in Laos’ Champasak Province. It is the biggest waterfall in the world with a width of 35,376 feet. There are countless islands and water channels at the falls. Some of the main reasons why the Mekong cannot be navigated into China are the region’s strong rapids and abrupt fall.
4. Laos has a magical lake.
A volcanic lake with a distinctive look is called “Nong Fa Lake” in Laos. The lake reportedly has an unknown depth, which gives rise to a number of myths about it. Travel guides have described it as “amazing.” The lake has no visible inlet or outlet, which means that it cannot be emptied and refilled, making the water in it eternally clean.
5. Thousands of ancient Buddha scriptures can be found in a cave in Laos.
A popular tourist destination in Laos is a collection of caves called the Tham Ting and the Tham Theung that have a view of the Mekong River. The tiny Buddha statues in these caverns are well known. On the shelves of these caverns’ walls are hundreds of these sculptures, most of which are made of wood. These sculptures show the Buddha in various poses, such as teaching, lounging, and meditating.
6. Most Laotians live along the river.
The majority of the population resides along the river, which travels through Laos and south Vietnam for a distance of more than 2,600 miles (4,180 kilometers). Only 10% of the nation lies below 600 feet, and Phu Bia, the highest peak, is 9,242 feet high (2,817 meters).
7. The largest and broadest waterfalls in the world are found in Laos.
One of Laos’ main attractions is the Khone Falls, or Khone Papeng. Some refer to it as the “Niagara of the East” because of its massive size, a fun Laos fact. The highest point is about 21 meters high and measures 35,367 feet in width, making it not only the biggest in the Southeast Asian region but also the widest in the world too. ”
Laos is 1.3 times smaller than Italy. Laos is 78.58 percent the size of Italy, which has a total area of about 236,800 km2 compared to 301,340 km2. Meanwhile, there are 62.4 million people living in Italy (55.0 million fewer people reside in Laos).
8. Laos is home to diverse forests and wildlife.
In the north of Laos, there are tropical rainforests with broad-leaved evergreens, and in the south, there are monsoon forests with mixed evergreen and deciduous species. The ground is covered in a long, coarse grass called tranh in the monsoon forest regions, and there is a lot of bamboo, brush, and wild bananas. The trees are primarily secondary growth.
A huge variety of palm and orchid species can be found in Laos. Almost 200 kinds of animals, including almost the same number of reptiles and amphibians, and about 700 different bird species, live in the forests and grasslands. Common mammals include deer, bears, monkeys, and gaurs (wild oxen). Several species of wild oxen, monkeys, gibbons, elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers are among the country’s endangered mammals. There are lots of geckos, snakes, frogs, and skinks, but numerous kinds of turtles are endangered. Numerous warblers, babblers, woodpeckers, thrushes, as well as a variety of larger raptors, live in the forest’s canopy and understory. In the lowlands, there are lots of waterbirds. Numerous bird species in Laos are in danger, including the majority of hornbills, ibises, and storks.
9. Craters from American airstrikes are often used as fishponds or for irrigating crops in rice fields in Laos.
Up to 23,000 individuals were protected during the American bombardment of Laos by a network of approximately 450 caverns. Previously, communist fighters had taken refuge in the caves. The nation that has been bombed the most in history is Laos. Laos reportedly experienced more bombardment during the Vietnam War than the whole Second World War.