Khammouane is a central province in Laos, largely covered in forest. Its capital is Thakhek which sits on the bank of the Mekong River and its colonial history is clearly evident in the old French architecture. A far more modern structure is the Third Friendship Bridge across the Mekong that has become an important link with Nakhon Phanom Province in Thailand.
Tobacco production is important while agriculture in general is a major activity; rice as well as livestock.
A Laos travel guide provides basic information to get people thinking about the country and the parts they wish to visit. When it comes to Khammouane it is travellers particularly interested in the natural environment.
How to get there
Travelling around Laos is not as comfortable as in its neighbour Vietnam but there are bus services connecting Thathek to the capital of Vientiane which is the point of entry for many people taking a holiday in Laos. Laos travel packages will have everything organised for you of course. Indochina tour packages can include land border crossings to and from Vietnam or Thailand.
Best time to visit
The monsoon season is May to October after which temperatures fall a little. The hottest months are just before the rains resume, March and April. Some times of the year are busier than others but tourism continues all year round.
Things to see and do
The Province’s natural environment is the main attraction:
• Tham Khonglor Cave within the Nation Protected Forest Area is almost 7.5 kilometres deep and sometimes 90 metres wide. Its maximum height is 100 metres and the Hinboun River flows inside. There is even a white sandy beach.
• Tad Kham Waterfall and Tad Nam Khengkam Waterfall are worth a visit.
• The Laotian rock rat had only been seen before in fossils; it was discovered alive in 1996 and later was confirmed as a new species. There are species of deer, pig, squirrel and rabbit as well as the chance of seeing elephant and rhino. Tiger is thought to be there but the chances of a sighting are extremely remote.
• The Hin Nam NoImportant Bird Areain the Hin Namno is limestone outcrops, valleys and rain forest, some deciduous as well. The crested argus and brown hornbill are both endangered
• In Phou Hin Poun the most notable wildlife is the Francois langur while the sooty babbler is a prominent bird species.
There are some landmarks of note:
• The Sikhottabong Stupa was built for King Soummitham and refurbished in the 15th Century. It is on the Mekong River bank.
• The Great Wall is 8 km from Thakhek and was built at the end of the Sikhottabong Empire in the 19th Century.
• Wat Pha Sokkhamsene Temple is a temple near Nongbok
• That Thumphavang Stupais also close to Nongbok.
Laos tour packages will obviously include all accommodation arrangements. Those looking for themselves and fairly flexible with their travel itinerary can find guesthouses and even village homestays in remote parts of the Province.