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The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a landlocked country in southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar (sometimes known as Burma), the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west. Laos traces its history to the Kingdom of Lan Xang or Land of A Million Elephants, which existed from the 14th to the 18th century. The flag of the Kingdom of Laos featured the Erawan, a mythical white three headed elephant. The current national flag was first used by the short-lived Lao nationalist government of 1945 and was restored by the Lao communist government in 1975.
Motto: Peace, Independence, Democracy, Unity and Prosperity Anthem: Pheng Xat Lao Location of Laos Capital Vientiane 17°58′ N 102°36′ E Largest city Vientiane Official language(s) Lao Government President Prime Minister Communist state Khamtai Siphandon Boungnang Vorachith Independence - Date From France 19 July 1949 Area - Total - Water (%) 236,800 km² (80th) 91,405 mi² 2% Population - 2005 est. - n/a census - Density 6,217,141 (101th) n/a 24/km² (146th) 68/mi² GDP (PPP) - Total - Per capita 2005 estimate $11.92 billion (133rd) $1,900 (146th) HDI (2005) 0.545 (133th) – medium Currency Kip (LAK) Time zone - Summer (DST) (UTC+7) (UTC+7) Internet TLD .la Calling code +856