Laos Mountains, Rivers and Lakes

By | March 14, 2023

According to Baglib, Laos is a landlocked country located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west. It has a total area of 236,800 square kilometers with a population of approximately 7 million people. Laos is divided into 17 provinces and 1 capital city, Vientiane. The capital city is located in the north central part of the country and has a population of about 800,000 people.

The terrain of Laos is mainly mountainous with narrow valleys and plateaus. The highest point in Laos is Phou Bia at 2,817 meters above sea level. The Mekong River runs through much of Laos from its northern border with China to its southern border with Cambodia where it empties into the South China Sea. The Mekong River provides irrigation for crops such as rice and vegetables, as well as being an important source of hydroelectric power.

Laos has two distinct seasons: wet season (May-October) and dry season (November-April). During the wet season temperatures are generally higher than during dry season due to monsoon rains from May through October bringing flooding along riverside areas. This can cause major disruption for local residents who rely on fishing or subsistence farming for their livelihoods. During dry season temperatures are cooler than during wet season but can still reach up to 40 degrees Celsius in some areas during peak months such as April or May.


Phou Bia is the highest mountain in Laos, standing at 2,820 meters above sea level. It is located in the Annamite Range, near the border with Vietnam. The mountain is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, as it offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. There are several trails leading to the summit, and they range from easy to difficult depending on your skill level. The summit itself is covered by a thick forest of evergreens and bamboo trees, making it an ideal spot for bird watching. In addition to its natural beauty, Phou Bia also has historical significance as it was once used as a lookout point by Lao soldiers during the Indochina War.

In addition to Phou Bia, another popular mountain in Laos is Phu Soi Dao which stands at 2,120 meters above sea level. This mountain straddles the border between Thailand and Laos and offers stunning views of both countries from its peak. It is known for its diverse wildlife including tigers, elephants and various species of birds. There are several trails that lead up to the summit of Phu Soi Dao which range from easy to difficult depending on your skill level as well as your fitness level. Climbing this mountain also provides an excellent opportunity to learn about local culture and history due to its close proximity to villages in both Thailand and Laos


The Mekong River is one of the major rivers in Laos. It is the longest river in Southeast Asia and originates in the Tibetan Plateau. It flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam before emptying into the South China Sea. In Laos, it passes through some of the most picturesque areas of northern and central Laos including Luang Prabang and Vientiane. The Mekong River provides water for irrigation and sustains a large portion of the country’s agricultural production.

The Nam Ou is another major river in Laos. It originates in northern Laos near Luang Prabang and flows southward for about 400 kilometers until it reaches its confluence with the Mekong River near Pakse. The Nam Ou is an important source of hydroelectric power for many parts of Laos as it passes through several dams along its course. Additionally, its waters are used to irrigate farmland throughout much of southern Laos.

The Nam Ngum is a tributary of the Mekong River located in central-northern Laos near Vientiane. This river forms part of a vast network of waterways that flow into Tonle Sap Lake and then out to sea via Cambodia’s Tonle Sap River. The Nam Ngum provides irrigation and power generation for many rural communities while also providing an important transportation route between northern and southern Laos via its many canals and channels that connect to other rivers such as the Xebanghieng River or Sekong River.


The major lakes in Laos are the Nam Ngum, Xe Bang Fai, and Xe Pian. The Nam Ngum is the largest lake in Laos and is situated in Vientiane Province. It is a popular recreation spot for locals, who come to fish, swim, and enjoy the lake’s beautiful scenery. The lake was created by damming the Nam Ngum River in 1971 and now covers more than 500 square kilometers. It is a major source of hydroelectric power for Laos and a popular tourist destination.

Xe Bang Fai is located in Khammouane Province and covers over 150 square kilometers. It is fed by several rivers including the Xebangfai River, which originates from the Annamite Mountains. The lake has numerous rapids and waterfalls that make it an ideal spot for rafting and kayaking activities. Fishing is also popular on this lake as it contains many varieties of fish such as carp, catfish, snakehead fish, goby fish, and others.

Xe Pian is located in Champasack Province and covers approximately 50 square kilometers. This lake has an abundance of fresh water species such as crabs, snakes, turtles, lizards, catfish and other aquatic life making it an important natural resource for local communities. There are several small islands within Xe Pian that offer excellent opportunities for bird watching as well as fishing activities. Tourists can also take part in boat trips to explore this picturesque area of Laos further.

Laos Mountains