Khammouane is located in central Laos bordering Bolikhamxay and Savannakhet Provinces. Khammouane covers about 16,000 square kilometers and has a population of almost 400,000. Most of them are engaged in agriculture. It is framed by the Mekong River Valley to the West and the Annamite Mountain Range to the East, which separates Khammouane from Vietnam.
The provincial capital of Khammouane Province, Thakhek, is located on the banks of the Mekong River. Much of its architecture can be traced to French colonial construction in the early 20th century. The town’s name in Lao means ‘guest landing’ (‘Khek’ literally means guest), a reference to its earlier role as a boat landing for foreign traders. The center of the old town can be found around the fountain square near the river where many old buildings still remain.