On the way to Laos, its old capital, Luang Prabang, with its gold-decorated Buddhist temples and processions of orange-clad monks, forms an idyllic stopover.
Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia, where you can still see a glimpse of the splendor of the former kingdom. The Buddhist monastic tradition is still in force. Early in the morning you can see a queue of orange-clad monks and novices advancing rapidly on the otherwise still quiet streets and gathering their food from the locals who gather for the street with rice bowls and fruit.
- Abbreviationfinder: lists typical abbreviations and country overview of Lao, including bordering countries, geography, history, politics, and economics.
Laos. On January 24, a bomb exploded at a border crossing between Laos and Thailand. Eleven Thai tourists were injured. Authorities said the bombing was sparked by a quarrel between two men, while independent judges were convinced that hostile rebel forces were behind it. The bombing was one in the line of similar attacks.
Lao’s ruling Communist Party held its seventh congress March 12-14. A few younger party members were elected to the leadership, but on most of the posts the old representatives were re-elected. President Khamtay Siphandone was re-elected chairman of the party’s Central Committee. Congress decided to focus on agricultural development and preparations for modernization and industrialization.
At the end of March, the Legislative Assembly elected a new government under Prime Minister Boungnang Volachit, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. The new government was reported to be a last-minute compromise solution between the party’s civilian and military faction. The choice of prime minister, leader of the civilian faction, was liked by foreign lenders.
In November, a Belgian EU parliamentarian, along with four other people, were sentenced to two years in prison for participating in a demonstration for democracy in Laos. They were also expelled from the country.
According to Countryaah, the population of Laos in 2001 was 5,751,565, ranking number 106 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.560% yearly, and the population density was 24.9206 people per km2.