Country Listing

Laos Table of Contents




Figure 3. Laos in Its Southeast Asian Setting, 1994

Figure 4. Topography and Drainage

Laos, a landlocked nation that covers 236,800 square kilometers in the center of the Southeast Asian peninsula, is surrounded by Burma, Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Vietnam (see fig. 3). Its location has often made it a buffer between more powerful neighboring states, as well as a crossroads for trade and communication (see Developments in the Nineteenth Century , ch. 1; Foreign Trade , ch. 3). Migration and international conflict have contributed to the present ethnic composition of the country and to the geographic distribution of its ethnic groups.

Data as of July 1994