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Laos Geography

    Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam

    Geographic coordinates: 18 00 N, 105 00 E

    Map references: Southeast Asia

    Area:
    total: 236,800 sq km
    land: 230,800 sq km
    water: 6,000 sq km

    Area—comparative: slightly larger than Utah

    Land boundaries:
    total: 5,083 km
    border countries: Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km

    Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

    Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

    Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

    Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point: Mekong River 70 m
    highest point: Phou Bia 2,817 m

    Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones

    Land use:
    arable land: 3%
    permanent crops: 0%
    permanent pastures: 3%
    forests and woodland: 54%
    other: 40% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 1,250 sq km (1993 est.)
    note: rainy season irrigation—2,169 sq km; dry season irrigation—750 sq km (1998 est.)

    Natural hazards: floods, droughts, and blight

    Environment—current issues: unexploded ordnance; deforestation; soil erosion; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water

    Environment—international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography—note: landlocked

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)