Vat Ban Kang (ຫໍໄຕປິດົກ ວັດກາງ ແຂວງສາລາວັນ)
Vat Ban Kang (ຫໍໄຕປິດົກ ວັດກາງ ແຂວງສາລາວັນ)


Salavan Province

Located in southern Laos, Salavan is bordered by Savannakhet Province to the North, Vietnam to the East, Sekong Province to the Southeast, Champasak Province to the South, and the Mekong River as International border with Thailand to the West. Salavan municipality sits in the province’s heart, about 115 km from Pakse, the region’s largest urban center. Salavan is divided into eight districts: Salavan, Khongxedon, Toumlan, Lakhonpheng, Laongarm, Samouay, Ta-Oy, and Vapi.

Flat, fertile terrain with rich volcanic soil covers some 40% of the province in its western Mekong River Valley, while the Bolaven Plateau’s northern tip rises to 1,000 meters and higher in Salavan’s southwest Laongarm District. The Annamite Mountains climb higher than 2,000 meters in the east near the Vietnam border, and scores of rivers and streams crisscross the province, including the Xe Don, Xe Set, Xe Lanong, and Xe Kang Rivers. Salavan is also home to three National Protected Areas (NPAs): Phou Xieng Thong, Xe Bang Nouan, and Xe Sap.


Eco-Tourism in Salavan

To better explore Salavan Province, base your stay in the easy-to reach Salavan Town. From here, you can embark on several one-day tour circuits, most of which follow paved and gravel roads, and a few of which require brief treks.

The circuits scour Salavan Town’s attractions, venture to Toumlan’s Katang weaving villages and longhouses, and explore Laongarm’s waterfalls, ethnic villages, and magnificent Bolaven Plateau viewpoints. Self-transportation by bicycle or motorcycle is currently required for most circuits in this pristine province.

A sense of newness envelops visitors stepping into Salavan Town, as it appears construction was completed the day before they arrived, and to some extent this is true. The provincial municipal center was completely leveled in 1971- 1972 during the Second Indochina War, but a carefully designed urban development plan gave it a new life.

However, remnants of its war-torn past can still be seen on a short biking tour, including the source off the carnage at the UXO Lao Office, which houses scores of defused unexploded ordinances (UXOs). Tourists can also inspect the skeletons of two bombed temples and admire a stupa built with small rocks to honor a local national hero. Though many sites can be reached by foot or tuk-tuk, having a bicycle opens up all the attractions and makes for a pleasant day tour.

Weaving fans can find distinctive ethnic Katang methods and looms 52 km north of Salavan Town on Route 23 at a cluster of villages called Koum-Ban Toumlan. Nearby in Ban Heuan Nyao, visit a longhouse in which all the inhabitants are cousins! Also on the trail is Khoua Ban Danh, a bombed out bridge crossing the Xe Done River. Guesthouse accommodation and restaurants are available in Ban Nakan, Toumlan’s administrative center.

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