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Landscape Laos

Laos, with its capital Vientiane, is sandwiched between China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The lack of a coastline is one of the reasons that the isolation of Laos has remained for centuries. The area of Laos covers 236,000 km ² (about 3.5 times as large as the Netherlands and Belgium), and is dominated by mountains and rivers. Almost 70% of the country consists of mountains and plateaus on average 2000 m high. The highest mountain (2820m) is the Phu Bia and is located in the northern province of Xieng Khuang. The north is the most mountainous part of Laos. The mountains of the Cordillera of Annam dominate the landscape in the southeast of the country. The southern part of the Cordillera turns into the plateau of Boloven, a major producer of coffee and tea. The landscape in the south and southwest is dominated by the Mekong (Mae Nam Khong). The main river in Laos comes from China. The river is still 'damless' and there are no large cities or industrial areas found on the banks. The length of the Mekong on Laotian territory is about 1,800 miles and largely runs along the border between Thailand and Laos. The Mekong makes up for the lack of reasonable roads, a major thoroughfare. But only the route between Luang Prabang and Savannakhet is navigable throughout the year. At the end of the dry season (March-May) when the water has reached its lowest level, a part of the shipping route comes to a standstill, or is limited to boats, with a shallow draft.

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