50 things about Asean countries you probably didn't know - Asean's golden jubilee

Asean's golden jubilee: 5 interesting things about Laos

36. Find one of the world's top Buddhist monuments

Originally built in the third century at the same time Vientiane was established, That Luang stupa is the symbol of Laos.

It was built to house the bones of Lord Buddha, but the original structure was renovated on the orders of King Saysetthathirath when he moved the Lao capital from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in 1560. The stupa is one of the world's must-see Buddhist monuments.

37. Plain of Jars

Mystery still surrounds the origins of the stone vessels at the Plain of Jars. While some believe the jars were built to store human remains, others theorise they were used to boil liquid during the Khoun Cheuang period in the sixth century.

Jar Site 1 is the more popular of the two sites in Xieng Khouang province. The site counts 331 jars, including the largest single jar, said to have been the victory cup of Khoun Cheuang who, according to local legend, liberated the local people from oppressive rulers.

38. Morning alms

Alms-giving early in the morning in Luang Prabang province is a fascinating activity for visitors, who get up very early to gather along the roadside with rice, food and sweets to give to passing monks.

39. One of the world's most -bombed countries

Laos is regarded as one of the world's most-bombed countries, with the United States dropping more than 270 million cluster bombs on it between December 1964 and March 1973.


That Luang stupa was built to house the bones of Lord Buddha, but the original structure was renovated when the Lao capital moved from Luang Prabang to Vientiane in 1560. PHOTOS: PHOONSAB THEVONGSA

This number is equivalent to dropping a full plane cargo load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years, according to the world atlas.


While some believe the stone vessels at the Plain of Jars were built to store human remains, others theorise they were used for boiling in the sixth century. PHOTOS: PHOONSAB THEVONGSA

40. Asean's geological wonder

A huge cave in Konglor village in Khounkham district, Khammouane province, attracts thousands of visitors. The Konglor Cave is about 7.5km in length - the longest in the country - and 80m to 100m wide.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 06, 2017, with the headline 'Laos'. Print Edition | Subscribe