country in the NW part of the Indochinese peninsula: formerly a French protectorate, it became an independent kingdom (1949) & a republic (1975): 91,400 sq mi (236,725 sq km); pop. 3,722,000; cap. Vientiane
See Laos in American Heritage Dictionary 4
A country of southeast Asia. Originally part of the Khmer Empire, the region became a powerful Lao kingdom (14th-15th century) and was later incorporated into French Indochina in 1893. Laos gained its independence in 1953, but a Communist uprising soon drew the country into a civil war, and a Communist state was established in 1975. Vientiane is the capital and the largest city. Population: 6,520,000.