to the northwest, Vietnam
to the east, Cambodia
to the south and Thailand
to the west. Its population was estimated to be 6.8 million in 2009.
Laos traces its history to the Kingdom which existed from the 14th to the 18th century when it split into three separate kingdoms. In 1893, it became a French protectorate
, with the three kingdoms, Kingdom of Luang Phrabang
, Kingdom of Vientiane
and Kingdom of Champasak
, uniting to form what is now known as Laos.
1953 Laos gains independence from France.
1955 Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sri Lanka join the United Nations.
1968 Vietnam War: Operation Commando Hunt initiated. The goal is to interdict men and supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, through Laos into South Vietnam.
1971 South Vietnamese ground troops launches an incursion into Laos to try and cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail and stop communist infiltration.
1971 Vietnam War: Backed by American air and artillery support, South Vietnamese troops invade Laos.
1971 The Army of the Republic of Vietnam abandon an attempt to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos.
1975 Successful Communist coup in Laos.
2009 Typhoon Ketsana (2009) hit the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, causing 700 fatalities.