Sunday, December 25, 2016

What are the major cities of Laos?

One of the common questions I get is “how many cities are there in Laos?” I’m presenting the list here because we’re at a particular point where many Lao American kids can probably name more cities in World of Warcraft, Mass Effect, or Star Wars than in Laos.

 Here are sixteen major cities in Laos, based on population. The majority of them are capitals of their province. For emerging writers, if you're looking for cities where you can set your stories or poems in in Laos, this can be a helpful starting list along with the currently accepted way to spell the names of these cities in the Lao language, as well as some common alternate ways of spelling the city names in a romanized fashion. 

The list is ordered from the largest populations to the smallest. Keep in mind there are of course hundreds if not thousands of rural villages across the countryside.
  • Vientiane ວຽງຈັນ
  • Pakse (Pakxe) ປາກເຊ
  • Savannakhet ໄກສອນ ພົມວິຫານ
  • Luang Prabang (Louangphrabang) ຫຼວງພະບາງ
  • Xam Neua (Xam Nua, Sam Neua) ຊຳເໜືອ
  • Phonsavan (Ban Phonsavan) ໂພນສະຫວັນ
  • Thakhek ທ່າແຂກ
  • Muang Xay (Oudomxai) ເມືອງໄຊ
  • Xaysomboun (Viengchan) ໄຊສົມບູນ
  • Pakxan (Muang Pakxan) ປາກຊັນ
  • Attapeu (Attopu) ອັດຕະປື
  • Ban Houayxay ຫ້ວຍຊາຍ
  • Luang Namtha ມ. ນາແລ, ຫລວງນໍ້າທາ
  • Phongsali (Phongsaly) ຜົ້ງສາລີ
  • Sainyabuli (Xaignabouli) ເມືອງໄຊຍະບູລີ
  • Salavan (Saravane) ສາລະວັນ
  • Sekong (Xekong) ເຊກອງ

As always, check with an elder to confirm this is the correct spelling before you use this to print t-shirts or get a tattoo of your favorite Lao city.

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