Quite often I see the word “Laotian” used to describe the people of Lao. You’ll never hear that term used within Laos. Instead the term “Lao people” is used. For example, “Lao people believe in…” rather than “Laotians believe in”. So when in Laos act like a local and use the phrase “Lao people”.

When describing objects its correct to refer to things as “Lao”. For example you would say this is a “Lao Temple” not a “Laotian Temple”.

When describing the country you should pronounce Laos with a silent ‘s’. Just say Lao. The official name of the country is Lao People’s Democratic Republic or Lao PDR for short.