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Boxed in by China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos is geographically divided into three regions, each with its chief city: northern Laos and Luang Prabang, central Laos and Vientiane, southern Laos and Pakse. About 90% of Laos is mountainous, so once you leave Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and the southern lowlands you're in true off-the-beaten-track territory. Luang Prabang is the best base for single or multiday trekking, biking, and river-rafting expeditions.