Hidden in the heart of East Asia is a land of undisturbed beauty known as Laos. Away from the hustle and bustle of the ever-changing world, it is wrapped with undying cultural heritage and eternal natural wonders. Although landlocked and nowhere near sea waters, Laos offers no less than magnificent terrains and rich ancient traditions—from forested mountains to old Buddhist temples. Indeed, this little country is a rare gem waiting to be discovered.

With nature’s grand design comes an exceptional group of people. Described as simple and relaxed, Laotians comprise 6.4 million of the world’s total population. Most are involved in agriculture, and only a quarter of the labor force is in industrial and service sectors. While they may be poor in economic standards, they have been blessed with great love for nature and contentment with whatever they possess.

Laotians speak several languages, largely because there are more than 68 ethnic groups in their country. But Lao, their official language, has the most number of speakers.

Because of Laos’ long history of invasion and colonization, foreign tongues, such as English and French, have also made their way into the country and remain to be active. Different ethnic languages and dialects are used as well.

Buddhism is the country’s main religion, with more than half of the population practicing its ways and decrees. Because of this, Buddhist monks in orange robes are a common sight in several areas. Christianity has also penetrated the country, as well as Islam and other religions. Animism and nature worship are likewise practiced in some regions.

Laos is a world of its own. With beautiful landscapes embedded with age-old cultural legacies, it only takes a minute to free your mind of all of life’s troubles and enjoy a whole new level of tranquility. Its breathtaking sceneries of green and gold, of rainforests and farmlands, and of ancient ruins and monasteries will surely captivate every traveler’s heart.

Getting around and savoring the freshness of your surroundings is never the same without meeting and greeting those who work to maintain the country’s beauty. Laotians, aside from their love for their environment, are known to be extremely hospitable even when times are hard.

Indeed, Laos is a great escape from the chaotic conditions of the outside world. Untamed and unexploited, it offers peace and relaxation to every weary soul it encounters—no disturbance, no worries, no baggage of unnecessary concern.