Laos (/ˈlɑːoʊs/ (About this soundlisten), /laʊs, ˈlɑːɒs, ˈleɪɒs/; Lao: ລາວ, Lāo [láːw]), officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao lau; French: République démocratique populaire lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia. At the heart of the Indochinese Peninsula, Laos is bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southeast and Thailand to the west and southwest.
Vientiane (/viˌɛntiˈɑːn/ vi-EN-ti-AHN, French: [vjɛ̃tjan]; Lao: ວຽງຈັນ, pronounced [wíəŋ tɕàn]) is the capital and largest city of Laos, on the banks of the Mekong River near the border with Thailand. Vientiane became the capital in 1573, due to fears of a Burmese invasion, but was later looted, then razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese (Thai). Vientiane was the administrative capital during French rule and, due to economic growth in recent times, is now the economic center of Laos. The city had a population of 948,477 as of the 2020 Census.