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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 30, 2019
Headline for Less Known Facts about Laos - Unusual Facts Most Travellers Don't Know about Laos
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Less Known Facts about Laos - Unusual Facts Most Travellers Don't Know about Laos

As one of Asia's emerging holiday hotspots, Laos remains a mystery to most travellers. Here are some of the lesser-known facts about this fascinating part of the world.

1

A Thousand Islands but No Ocean

While Laos is Southeast Asia's only landlocked country, it is surprisingly home to a whopping 4000 islands. Found in the southern reaches of the nation, Si Phan Don, which is also known as The 4000 Islands is a natural phenomenon like no other. Blessed with white, sandy shores and crystal clear waters, the islands offer beach lovers visiting Laos a chance to spend some time in a tropical beach paradise. Although unlike traditional islands, The 4000 Islands in Laos are surrounded by the water of the Mekong River, instead of the ocean.

2

Big Sticky Rice Fans

Laos also comes out on top when it comes to the country which consumed the largest quantity of sticky rice in the world. As the national staple diet, sticky rice is served in a plethora of incarnations including fermented, sweet and sour varieties. The average Laotian digs into a whopping 155kg of stick rice each year whereas their American and European counterparts only consume a measly 9kg a year. This is perhaps why Laotians proudly call themselves the "descendants of sticky rice."

3

The Enchanting Crater Lake is Here

Regarded as one of the most spectacular natural attributes in Asia, Nong Fa Lake is also located in Laos. Occupying pride of place in the mountainous terrain of the country's south-eastern region, the world-renowned crater lake is shrouded in many local legends. With an assumed depth of 78m, the actual depth of the crater is difficult to measure due to the geological challenges of its location. Locals also refuse to swim in the waters as there is a belief that a massive snake/pig lives in the crater waiting to gobble up any who dare to venture in for a bath.

4

Unlikely Wildlife Haven

Although the wildlife heritage of countries the likes of Thailand and Sri Lanka are well known and documented, few tourists are aware of the abundance of wildlife sanctuaries contained within Laos and the many creatures that call them home. Laos is a rich and verdant breeding ground and dwelling for a host of animals including Asian black bears, leopard cats, tigers, king cobras, leopards, white-cheeked gibbons and sambar deer. The best way to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures is to sign up for a night safari excursion offered by the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Biodiversity Conservation Area.

5

Coffee Exporters to the World

While everyone knows Cambodia and Thailand's reputation for producing exquisite coffee blends, most visitors are ignorant of the fact that Coffee is, in fact, the most successful agricultural export in Laos. High-quality Arabica beans are the country's main export while cafes around the world rely on the beans cultivated in various parts of Laos to make espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Visitors based at Avani+ Luang Prabang or any similar hotel in Luang Prabang or elsewhere in Laos can sample the taste of an aromatic cuppa at any of the country's many local cafes and coffee houses.

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