Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic is a landlocked country in the heart of the Indochinese peninsula of Mainland Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southwest and Thailand to the west and southwest.

The capital and largest city is Vientiane.
Other major cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse.

The official language is Lao.

Laos is a multi-ethnic country, with the politically and culturally dominant Lao people making up about 55 percent of the population, mostly in the lowlands. Mon-Khmer groups, the Hmong and other indigenous hill tribes, accounting for 45 percent of the population, live in the foothills and mountains.

Laos's ambitious strategies for development are based on generating electricity from its rivers and selling the power to its neighbours, namely Thailand, China and Vietnam, as well as its initiative to become a "land-linked" nation, shown by the planning of four new railways connecting Laos to those same countries.
This, along with growth of the mining sector, Laos has been referred to as one of East Asia and Pacific's Fastest Growing Economies by the World Bank, with annual GDP growth averaging 7% for the past decade.