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    Laos Geography - 2002

      Location Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam

      Geographic coordinates 18 00 N, 105 00 E

      Map references Southeast Asia

      total: 236,800 sq km
      water: 6,000 sq km
      land: 230,800 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: 4%
      permanent crops: 0%
      other: 96% (1998 est.)

      Irrigated land 1,640 sq km
      note: rainy season irrigation - 2,169 sq km; dry season irrigation - 750 sq km (1998 est.)

      Natural hazards floods, droughts

      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; most of the country is mountainous and thickly forested; the Mekong forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand

      NOTE: The information regarding Laos on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Laos Geography 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Laos Geography 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 30-Jan-03
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