Dxpat.com

Pictures website for Laos

www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g293949-Laos.html

Laos pictures: Check out TripAdvisor members’ 209 candid photos and videos of landmarks, hotels, and attractions in Laos.

www.molon.de/galleries/Laos/

Images of central, northern and southern Laos taken between 2000 and 2006.

www.laophotos.com/

Colours, sights and scenes of Laos. LaoPhotos.com is is your one-stop website for free photos of Laos.

www.flickr.com/groups/laos/

Flickr is almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world. Show off your favorite photos and videos to the world, securely …

www.trekearth.com

Gallery of gorgeous Laos photographs from the TrekEarth community of world-class photographers. Critique photos and add your own.

Laos, the Land of A Million Elephants, is a landlocked country in southeast Asia lying between Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Laos traces its history back to the Kingdom of Lan Xang which existed from the 14th to the 18th century. Laos is a mostly mountainous country with some plains and plateaus. The Mekong River forms a large part of the western border with Thailand, while the mountains of the Annamite Chain form most of the eastern border with Vietnam.

Laos is a relatively less developed socialist country, which however has started implementing economic reforms in the 1980s. Development has been quite fast over the past five years with huge changes takng place since my first visit to Laos in April 2000. The villages surrounding Luang Prabang for instance mainly consisted of traditional style wooden houses with tree leaves roofs in the year 2000. In December 2005 most of these traditional houses had been replaced by houses of concrete. In all places which I visited in December 2005, even the most remote, there was cellular coverage.

Vientiane, the capital of Laos, has a population of 200000 and is one of southeast Asia’s most laid-back capitals, with relatively little traffic in the streets. Vientiane has no tall buildings and exudes a special aura that combines Lao, Chinese, Thai, French, Soviet and American elements. The city is located in a fertile plain on a broad curve on the northeastern bank of the Mekong River. King Setthathirath officially established it as the capital of Lan Xang in 1560. When Lan Xang fell apart in 1707, it became an independent kingdom. In 1779, it was conquered by the Siamese general Phraya Chakri and made a vassal of Siam. Later it became the capital of Laos under the French protectorate in the late 19th century. It has continued as the capital until today.

Vientiane has changed a lot since my last visit in March 2000. There are now more cars in the streets (but still very few for a capital), and you can feel that the economy is speeding up. There is more dynamism in the streets, more activity, especially in the tourist sector. Mobile phones are now relatively widespread.

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