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GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE IN LAOS

08/07/2019 150 Views

Laos is bordered by Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Myanmar (Burma).
Rivers and mountains dominate the topography of the country. The largest river, the Mekong (Nam Khong), crosses the country in all its length, providing fertile plains for agriculture and forming the border with Thailand. It is also the main artery of Laotian transport. The total area of Laos is 237 000 km2 and more than 70% of the country consists of mountains and plateaus. The mountains average between 1,500-3,000 meters (4,920-9,840 feet) in height, and open at their southern end to form the Bolaven Plateau, an area of 10,000 km2. The highest mountain is Phu Bia (2,819 m) located in the north of the country.

Two-thirds of Laos is forest and only 10% of the country is considered suitable for agriculture.
Given the topography, Laos has one of the lowest population densities in Asia - around 18 people per km2 (about 11 per 1,000 m2). Most of the population lives along fertile and river valleys. The largest population centers, Vientiane and Savannakhet, are both in the Mekong Valley; 85% of the population lives in rural areas.
 
Despite the immense bombardment and use of defoliants in the eastern section of the country during the US war with Vietnam, Laos has one of the most abundant ecologies in Southeast Asia. The vegetation consists mainly of varieties associated with tropical rainforests and bamboo. Endemic animals include Concolor's gibbon, langur, very little panda and dog raccoon. Exotic species found in neighboring countries are usually found in larger numbers in Laos, due to dense forest and limited numbers of hunters. They include Javan Mongoose, Siamese hares, leopard, tiger, Irrawaddy dolphin and some Javan rhinos that survive in the Bolaven Plateau. There are 17 biodiversity conservation areas scattered throughout the country.

  

TABLE OF TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION

Month

Vientiane

Luang Prabang

Savannakhet

Average
temp.

Rain
(mm)

Average
temp.

Rain
(mm)


Average
temp.

Rain
(mm)

JAN

12/27

10

12/27

10

12/27

5

FEB

15/30

20

14/32

15

14/32

15

MAR

19/32

30

17/34

25

17/34

20

APR

25/34

100

22/35

100

22/35

80

MAY

25/32

280

22/35

170

22/35

205

JUN

26/33

300

23/34

165

24/33

230

JUL.

26/33

280

23/32

230

22/31

280

AGU

26/33

290

23/32

300

23/30

275

SEP

26/33

300

23/33

170

23/30

280

OCT

23/30

100

22/31

50

22/31

60

NOV

18/28

20

18/28

20

18/28

30

DEC

17/27

10

17/27

10

17/27

5

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