Living in Laos guide for expats

All the information you need to relocate and live in Laos.

About Laos

Lao's small population (about six and a half million people) fits 49 ethnic groups, with Lao, Khmou, and Hmong making up three-quarters of the population. The ethnic groups are categorised depending on the language they speak ' Lao-Tai language is spoken by eight ethnic groups or tribes, Mone-Khmer by 32, Hmong Mien by only two, and seven ethnic groups represent the Tibeto-Chinese language.

Eighty percent of the population works in agriculture (mostly in rice production) but the government of Laos is planning to boost the country's weak economy via a vast hydropower project along Mekong River ' the biggest project of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Laos was a French colony until the early 1950s, and the conflict between its royalist and communist powers lead the country to the 20-year-long Vietnam War between North and South Vietnam. In 1975, the communists defeated the monarchy, and today, Laos remains a communist state. However, since the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, Laos has been showing a desire to connect with the rest of the world and work on its strengths towards development.

Laos is concentrating on revenue from the tourism industry, especially as more and more travellers choose to visit the country for its relaxed lifestyle, lush landscapes, Buddhist temples, and gorgeous sunsets. Vientiane, even though it's the capital city, it isn't a fast-paced city; expats should expect a laid-back lifestyle, which revolves around cultural events and markets.

Quick Information

Capital : Vientiane
Official Languages : Lao , French , English
Currency : Kip
Area : 236800 Km2
Population : 6368162
Calling Code : +856
Timezone : Asia/Vientiane