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Laos

 

LaosFrom historic temples, lush landscapes and welcoming smiles, the heart of Southeast Asia is waiting to be explored. Laos is a country as yet untouched by the modern demands, stress and pace of life. Its beauty lies in the Loa people, traditions and heritage and its pristine landscape.

Culture of Laos

Theravada Buddhism is a dominant influence in Lao culture. It is reflected throughout the country from language to the temple and in art, literature, performing arts, etc. Many elements of Lao culture predate Buddhism, however. For example, Laotian music is dominated by its national instrument, the khaen, a type of bamboo pipe that has prehistoric origins. The khaen traditionally accompanied the singer in lam, the dominant style of folk music. Among the various lam styles, the lam saravane is probably the most popular.

The country has two World Heritage Sites: Luang Prabang and Vat Phou. The government is seeking the same status for the Plain of Jars.

Sticky Rice is a characteristic staple food and has cultural and religious significance to the Lao people. Sticky rice is mainly preferred over jasmine rice because Lao is the only country with the origin of sticky rice being eaten. There are many traditions and rituals associated with rice production in different environments, and among many ethnic groups. For example, Khammu farmers in Luang Prabang plant the rice variety Khao Kam in small quantities near the hut in memory of dead parents, or at the edge of the rice field to indicate that parents are still alive.

General Information

Area 91,429 sq mi
Population 6,320,000
Capital Vientiane
Official Language Lao
Time (UTC+7)

Major Tourist Destinations

Vientiane Luang Prabang Champasak Vang Vieng
Xieng Khouang      

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