Sekong is a province of Laos, located in the south-east of the country.
Sekong Province is the second smallest province in Laos and also one of its poorest, covering an area of 7,665 square kilometres. It is bordered by Vietnam to the east, Attapeu Province to the south, Salavan Province to the north, and Champasak Province to the west. Sekong also has the smallest population and the lowest population density of any province. It was created in 1984 by splitting the Salavan Province and is the most diverse province in Laos with 14 ethnic groups. The Sekong River, which divides the province, flows in a southern direction into Cambodia and is navigable for boats. The river valley has fertile plains interspersed with paddy fields and fruit orchards. Its rich tropical forest have many rare species of flora and fauna. The Dakchung Plateau and Xe Xap National Biodiversity Conservation Area are among the areas under protection.
Unlike most of Laos, not many wats are seen in the province as the predominant belief system is more of animism and ancestral worship. Sekong Province is one of the most important coffee producing areas of Laos.
The Sekong River, which divides the province, flows in a southern direction into Cambodia and is navigable for boats. Long-tail boats are navigated though the river along scenic routes on the edge of the Bolaven Plateau. Freshwater dolphins can be seen in the river. Waterfalls are a common feature in the river valley; some of the popularly known falls are the Tad Hia, Tad Faek and Tad Se Noi (or Tad Hua Khon). The most famous water fall is the Nam Tok Katamtok that is located on the Huay Katam River, deep in the forests of the Bolaven Plateau. The Sekong river valley has fertile plains interspersed with paddy fields and fruit orchards. Its rich tropical forest has many rare species of flora and fauna.
Sekong is among the most remote areas of Laos; even some of its largest villages are virtually inaccessible by road for at least half of the year. The infrastructure is poorly developed. The eastern districts of Dakchung and Kaleum, in particular, are characterized by mostly mountainous terrain which is rugged and difficult to access. This isolation has meant that forest cover, biodiversity, and ethnic traditions have changed less in recent years than in other areas in Laos. However, the province has become much less isolated in recent years, with the upgrading of a major road up from the Mekong valley city of Pakse, plus two major road projects connecting Sekong to Vietnam to the east. Road infrastructure backed by the Vietnamese is part of a regional development strategy spearheaded by Hanoi called the Development Triangle Initiative, aiming to develop links between Vietnam and neighboring underdeveloped provinces in Cambodia and Laos.
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