Laos officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is located in the center of Indochina, sharing borders with China to the North 416 kilometers, Myanmar to Northwest 236 kilometers, Thailand to the West 1,835 kilometers, Cambodia to the South 492 kilometers and Vietnam to the East 1,957 kilometers. With a total area of 236,800 square kilometers, around 70% of Laos' terrain is mountainous, reaching a maximum elevation of 2,820 meters in Xieng Khouang Province. The landscapes of northern Laos and the regions adjacent to Vietnam, in particular, are dominated by rough mountains.
The Mekong River is the main geographical feature in the west and, in fact, forms a natural border with Thailand in some areas. The Mekong flows through nearly 1,900 kilometers of Lao territory and shapes much of the lifestyle of the people of Laos. In the South the Mekong reaches a breadth of 20 kilometers, creating an area with thousands of islands (4000 islands).
Laos has a low population density; unspoiled, diverse ethnic lifestyles and traditions; and perhaps the richest, most extensive network of ecosystems on the Indochina Peninsula. More than 800 species of birds and 100-plus large mammals have been identified in Laos, with new species being discovered every year. Some of the more charismatic species include Tigers, Clouded Leopards, Douc Languar, Gibbons, the Irrawaddy Dolphin, Hornbills, Peafowls, Ibis, Crested Argus' and Silver Pheasants.
Laos is geographically mountainous, culture diverse, spiritually rich and historically fascinating country with a profusion of naturally breathtaking landscapes resulting in endless opportunities for the curious and intrepid adventurer. Famous for its relaxed atmosphere, the country never fails to deliver guests unique experiences and unexpected moments of discovery with every visit. In addition, Laos has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - The Ancient City of Luang Prabang and the pre-Angkorian Vat Phou Temple Complex. There is also the mysterious Plain of Jars, a forthcoming World Heritage Site that has significant archaeological, historical and natural value.