Khammouane, meaning “happy gold”, is believed to have been named after the gold deposits found in the area hundreds of years ago. Today its treasures are to be found by all those who set out with a spirit of adventure and seek it.
Khammouane Province, which covers an area of 16,315 square kilometres (6,299 sq mi) and is mostly of forested mountainous terrain, is bordered by Bolikhamsai Province to the north and northwest, Vietnam to the east, Savannakhet Province to the south, and Thailand to the west. The vast forests of the Nakai-Nam Theun Biodiversity Conservation Area are an important watershed that feed many Mekong tributaries as well as form the catchment area for Nam Theun 2, the largest hydropower project in Laos. The Xe Bangfay, Nam Hinboun and Nam Theun are the main rivers of the province.
We invite you to tour ‘The Loop’, explore our myriad rivers and caves, be awed by the landscapes or get a deeper understanding of our culture and people.
Khammouane Province has long been a place of travel and of sanctuary.
This is a land of rugged karst mountains which were once the refuge of a succession of ethnic groups fleeing the Haw invasions in the north during the 19th century. The famed Mu Gia pass at the end of route 12 was one of the main transit points of the legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Indochina Wars.
This dreamlike landscape has served as a sanctuary for a number of wild animals that were unknown to scientists until the 1990s. The khan you, a small rodent-like creature the size of a small squirrel, was found in Khammouane in the early 21st century and possibly will be the last remaining mammalian family to be described on earth.