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Lao PDR

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Lao PDR

Laos (full name, Lao People's Democratic Republic) covers an area of approximately 236,800 sq km. Its terrain mostly consists of rugged mountains with some plains and plateaux. Laos borders Burma, Cambodia, China, Thailand and Vietnam, and is completely landlocked. The country is divided into 16 provinces (Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphrabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xekong and Xiangkhoang) and one capital city (Viangchan). Vientiane is the capital, with a time difference of 7 hours ahead of GMT. The currency is the new kip, and exports include clothing, timber products, coffee, gold, copper and electricity. The population of approximately 6,800,000 people comprises an ethnic makeup that is 55% Lao and 11% Khmou. The primary languages are Lao and French, and the predominant religion is Buddhism.