We asked you five questions about Laos. Here come the answers!
- What is the most striking feature of the Laotian coastline?
Er…what coastline? Uniquely among South East Asian countries, Laos is landlocked – although all of its border with Burma (Myanmar), and much of its border with Thailand, run down the middle of the mighty Mekong river.
- What is bun nam?
- a festival
- a soup
- a hair decoration
- a cooking pot
It’s an annual boat racing event in October, marking the end of the monsoon. Rowing teams from all over the country and from neighbouring Thailand, China and Burma (Myanmar) compete in boat races on the Mekong. Not to be confused with the Vietnamese noodle gumbo-like soup, bún mắm.
- What is the national sport of Laos?
Muay Lao, an unarmed martial art featuring the use of elbows and knees as well as punches and kicks. It’s very similar to its more famous cousin across the border, muay Thai.
But, for a bonus point, these days what is the most popular sport?
Perhaps inevitably, it’s football. Currently the most successful professional team is Lao Toyota FC.
- What is the name of the traditional tubular skirt worn by many Lao (and Thai) women?
It’s a sinh. It consists of a “head” or waistband, tucked in and thus hidden from sight; a typically fairly plain “body” (one or two colours); and a “foot” or hem, which is usually ornately woven. The pattern may indicate where it was woven.
- Vientiane became the capital of Laos in 1520. Name the capital city prior to this.
The capital of the mediaeval kingdom of Lan Xang from 1359 was Luang Phrabang, named for the Phra Bang image of Buddha, still Laos’ foremost Buddha image to this day. The capital was moved for fear of Burmese invasion.
How did you get on? Why not let us know?