The Lao PDR, or Laos, is situated in the middle of South East Asia. The country is landlocked, so it has no direct access to the sea, and has common borders with China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar. The capital of Lao PDR is Vientiane, located in the middle of the country near the Thai border.

The still quite unknown Mekong River flows through almost 1,900 kilometers of Lao territory from the north to the south and is the main geographical feature of the country. The Mekong forms a natural border with Thailand for over 800 kilometers but has only a few bridges. At the moment there are only three bridges spanning the Mekong from Thailand to Laos.

With a total area of 236,800 square kilometers, the country is divided into three distinct regions: diverse mountains, plateaus, and plains along the Mekong region. Around three quarters of Laos is actually made of mountains and plateaus, especially in the north and southeast of the country. Northern Laos is dominated by jagged mountains, jungles, and agricultural areas that occupy the valleys between and the arable slopes. The plains region is located along the Mekong River and forms the other quarter of the country.

Climate in Laos and the northern Mekong region
Lao PDR has a tropical monsoon climate with three seasons: dry, hot, and wet. The dry season lasts generally from October through March, the hot season is generally defined as March to June, and the wet season lasts from May or June to the end of September. Severe rains lasting for a short period of time fall during the monsoon. The yearly average temperature is around 28° Celsius, but it can fall to 15 or 10 C° during the cold season. Areas around the Plain of Jars are known to freeze occasionally during winter time.