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Footprint ofbuddha in BorikhamsayBorikhamsay (or Bolikhamsai) province is located in the central Laos in the narrow "neck" with moderately high mountains sloping south west INTO the Mekong River valley. Vientiane and Xieng Khouang province lie to the north, Khammouane province to the south. Paksan the capital town is a commercial centre, can be reached from Vientiane by bus in about three hours. In Borikhamsay province, between Vientiane and the provincial capital Paksan, a'footprint of Buddha' shrine at Wat Phra Baat is an important pilgrimage site.

Pra bat phon san in BorikhamsayPra bat phon san in BorikhamsayThe most famous attraction of the region is its striking landscape. At Ban Nahin, Poupha Mane, a stone forest featuring thousands of rock pinnacles, can be found. Due to its proximity to Lak Xao, the latter is within easy reach for tourists crossing to Vietnam. South of Lak Xao, the still pristine forests of Nam Thuen National Biodiversity Conservation with varieties of wild life. The largest conservation area in the country at 3700 sq km is home to over a dozen threatened species including Asiatic black bear, clouded leopard, elephant, giant muntjac, guar, Malayan sun bear, and tiger. The saola (spindle horn) or Vu Quang Ox - Pseudoryx nghetinhensis was discovered in neighboring Vietnam in 1992 and sighted since then in Laos in the conservation area. Only two other land mammals have been classified with their own genus this century. The first live saola was captured in neighboring Khammouane province in 1996.


Khammouane mekong valleyKhammouane is situated in the central part of Lao PDR with an area of moderately high mountains sloping down to the Mekong valley. Fertile land here is well suited to plantations of rice, cabbage, sugar cane, bananas etc.

A total population of 260,000 is made up of low land and up Landers Lao groups: Phuan, Tahoy, Kri, Katang etc. Thakhek provincial capital is situated across the Mekong from Nakorn Phanom in Thailand. It also has much well preserved French colonial architecture similar to that found in Vientiane.

Buses run several times a day from Vientiane and Savannakhet and the journey takes up to five hours from Vientiane. Tha Kek is a designated international border checkpoint, although visas are not available on entry. You will need a visa in advance. The ferry across the Mekong from Nakorn Phanom, in Thailand runs all day between 0800 and 1700 on weekdays, with some restrictions at weekends. Nakorn Phanom has an airport that is served regularly by regular flights from Bangkok by Thai Airways International.

khammouane peopleKhammouane province contains two vast wilderness areas known as the Khammuane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area and the Nakai - Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Besides, Khammouane province also rich with many caves, such as Tham Xieng Lieup, Tham Nang An, Tham Phanang and Tham Phaya In. The Khammouane Limestone is a maze of limestone karsts peaks forming a stone forest of caves, rivers and pristine jungle. For most of the wet season, the area is not accessible by road - most 'roads' being tracks with log bridges across deeps streams. These tracks are often routes across rice paddies near the river banks - during the rainy season, the only way to get around is by boat. The National Tourism Authority of Lao PDR is currently investigating ecotourism projects in this beautiful region. About 8 kilometers to the south of the town is the That Sikhotabong or Sikhotabong stupa, constructed around 9th to 10th century by King Nanthasen and restored in the 1950s.



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