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Lao People’s Democratic Republic, or Laos country (ລາວ) for short, is a country in southeast Asia. The capital of Laos is Vientiane.
Laos is landlocked (it does not have a coast on a sea or ocean). It is bordered by Myanmar (used to be known in English as “Burma”) and by China to the northwest, by Vietnam to the east, by Cambodia to the south, and by Thailand to the west. The Mekong river forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand. Boats from Laos cannot get to the ocean using the Mekong because of rapids and waterfalls in the south of the country.
Laos had a long history before becoming a French colony. Fa Ngum created the first unifed Lao Kingdom. In 1949 it became independent from France, as the Kingdom of Laos. Later there was a civil war, and in 1975 it became a republic under control of the communist party.
The official language is Lao, a language belonging to the Tai language group. 98% of Lao people believe in Buddhism. The main crop in Laos is rice.