A landlocked nation, Laos has been a theater of some of the most brutal conflicts of the 20th century. During World War II, it was occupied by Imperial Japan, fascist Thailand, Vichy France, Free France and nationalist Chinese forces. After it gained independence in 1954, it slipped into a civil war that lasted till 1975. Despite these conflicts, the country has preserved its majestic temples from Buddhist and pre-Buddhist eras. Laos is one of the world's fastest-growing small economies, though it continues to depend heavily on agriculture.
Need to Know
More from Laos
- Good Sh*t
When the U.S. bombed Laos, an underground society emerged. These days, the cave system is open to tourists. Just watch out for all the unexploded bombs.
- Rising Stars
This is where real life is T-Shirts, breakdancing and film.
The CIA and U.S. Air Force fought Communist forces for control of Laos, Vietnam’s neighbor, making it the most-bombed country in history.
Explore the world with OZY.COM
This year, OZY will be bringing you untold stories from every single country on the map, one day at a time, to introduce you to new people, new trends and new places. Travel with us for sights, sounds, and surprises from across our diverse world.View Full Series