Laos (Lao: ເມືອງລາວ Muang Lao), officially the Lao Republic (Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດລາວ Sathalanalat Lao), is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Siam to the west. The capital and largest city is Vientiane. Other large cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet, and Pakse.
The country's official language is Lao. Laos is a multi-ethnic country with the politically and culturally dominant Lao people making up approximately 60% of the population, mostly in the lowlands. Various Mon-Khmer groups, the Hmong, and other indigenous hill tribes, accounting for 40% of the population, live in the foothills and mountains.