Official name: The People´s Republic of Laos
Extent: 236 800 square kilometres (3% is formed from water)
Population number: 6 068 117
Official language: Laos language
State organization: Republic
Main religion: Buddhism is most extended religion (85%). Apart of this, animistic faith is very spreaded among members of mountain clans.
The highest point: Phou Bia (2817 m)
Time: Central European Time + 6 hours
Laos, situated in South-East Asia, does not have - apart from their neighbouring countries(Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and China) an access to the seaside. More than 70% of the country is covered with mountains and table lands. The forests form 50% of total surface. So, most of population is living along rivers. Mekong-river is the longest one and flows throughout the whole country. This river is also an important traffic route, and especially the agriculture has big profit from such inundation areas.
The original and non-interfered Laos vegetace takes approx. 85% of the country. Nearly ome half of Laos territory is covered with original forests. The state established consequently seventeen Areas Destined for Maintanance of National Biodiversity (NBCA), which covers 10% of the country. As main local problem, it is illegal cutting down of forests (teaks and pink wood), despite the fact that official exportation is undergone severe state control. Approx. 45% of sorts of animals, who have their home in Thailand, are also living in Laos. To most important mammals belong endemic gigantic mundzaks as well as spindlehorns. Even wild Asian elephants, jackals, Asian black bears, deers, leopards, tigers, Irridwai dolpins, and others, are appearing there.
A monsoon cycles have the main influence of Laos climate. This cycle is looking after dry period - since November till April, followed by rainy period, since May till October. In general, most of precipitation falls in South Laos. In capital, the temperatures reach the highest values during March and April – concretely 35° C.
As mentioned above, most of six-million population is living in the valley of Mekong-river. The remaining inhabitants are formed from clans of Thais, Lao Theungs and Lao Sungs - these are, first of all, mountain clans. The population density is 20 persons per 1 square kilometer, and this value is one of lowest ones in South-East Asia. Regarding official language, it is Laos language, spoken and written in Vientiane. Predominant majority of Laos inhabitants, living in plain-land areas, are confessing Theravada, Buddhist religion.
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