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Attapeu

Attapeu

 Area:                127,285 sqkm

 Population:    10,320 million

 Capital:             Samakkhixay

 Language:       Lao, French

 Currency:         Kip

Attapeu Overview
Attapeu located in southeast Laos is a province separated from Vietnam by the Annamite Mountain Range. It has a capital of the same name and has a population of little more than 100,000.

A large proportion of the Province lies within the Dong Ampham National Biodiversity Conservation Area and there are two large forested areas. During the war for independence from the French  was the home of the National Liberation Front resulting in widespread destruction and evidence is still to be seen today decades later.

Attracting things such as Agriculture, fishing, rice timber and rubber help sustain the economy of a province with several tribes, the largest being the Lao Loum. One of the pleasures of a visit to this Province is to meet its tribal people and learn more about their daily lives.Our Laos holiday packages certainly recommend this remote province.
Attapeu History
It has a rich history dating back to the Lane Xang Kingdom in the 16th century, as evidenced by the ancient stupa That Saysetthathirath, which local people believe to house the remains of King Sayasetthathirath.
 
In more recent history, the province became known as the "Land of Heroism" for its strong role in the revolution. There is evidence of the war remaining today, mostly concentrated in the eastern part of the province along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
 
Attapeu is well-known for its diverse population of Mon-Khmer speaking ethnic groups that still practice traditional livelihoods and swidden farming under a variety of ecological conditions. Some of the main ethnic groups are the Lavae (Brao) located in Phouvong District, the Oy found mostly at the edge of the Bolaven Plateau, the Tailiang in Attapeu town and the Alak located in the eastern parts of Attapeu Province near the border with Vietnam.
 
Nature abounds in Attapeu Province. There is an extensive river network which includes the Xekong, Xe Kaman, and Xe Xou Rivers. One can travel the Xekong River along the border of Cambodia and then up in the Xe Pian River with access to Xe Pian National Protected Area (NPA). 
 
There are three waterfalls along the Xe Pian River. Tad Saepha, Tad Samongphak, and Tad Saeponglaican, which can be reached by foot or by boat with a local guide. Tad Phapong, a waterfall on the Xe Xou River is accessible by trekking or boating and is noted for its many colorful rocks that line the riverside. Dong Amphanh NPA, located in the province's north-east quadrant covers 1.975 km2 and has elevations ranging from 120m to 2.052m. 
 
The area is inhabited by a variety of rare and endangered species, including the buff-cheeked gibbon, Asiatic golden cat, clouded leopard, tiger, elephants and Trong Song muntjac. Some of Attapeu's 280 bird species include the Siamese fireback, crested argus, the woolly-necked stork and Rufous-winged Buzzard. 
 
A remote and little-known crater-lake called Nong Fa is the largest crater-lake in the country and has beautiful clear waters surrounded by pine forests. Laos tour package explore a great experience in this remote and beautiful area in
 

Attapeu climate and best time to visit
It is a scenic province of rock and valley, rivers, and forests when travel is difficult in the monsoon season. As a result, the period between May and October is a decidedly low season.

Once the rains stop temperatures drop a little then begin to rise in March and April before the arrival of the rains once again. A holiday in Laos is certainly more practical in the drier weather.
Attapeu Transportation
There are bus services available for travelers while those on organized Laos travel packages have all arrangements made for them. There are two major roads in the Province and three main towns are all located on this two road; Attapeu, Xaysetha, and Sanamxai.

Attapeu can be reached by bus from the Southern Bus Terminal in Vientiane Capital, choose either bus to the province. Be aware that transportation schedules and prices are subject to change, so please check departure times and prices at the transport station and tourist information center or through a travel agent prior to your trip. 
 
Getting there & away: The Attapeu bus terminal is next to Talat Noi at Km 3 north west of town. Route 18A that runs south of the Bolaven Plateau remains impassable to most traffic, so all transport to or from Pakse goes via Sekong and Paksong. There are usually five or more users to Pakse (40,000-60,000 kip, 5-6 hours, 212 kilometers) between 6:00 am and midday. 
 
You can get off any of these buses at Sekong (25,000 Kip, 2 hours, 77 kilometers) or Paksong (35,000 kips, 4 hours, 162 Km). For Tat Lor or Salavanh, you will need to head off early, get a bus heading to Paksong, and change at Tha Taeng. Most buses servicing Attapeu are older, naturally cooled affairs.

Getting Around Attapeu: A jumbo trip around town should cost about 5,000 Kip/person. To/from the bus terminal costs about 10,000 kip. Bicycles (20,000 kip/day) and motorbikes (80,000 kip/day) can be rented.
 

Things to do and see in Attapeu
 
The Attapeu Plain
 
Attapeu Plain is important for its birdlife with Fish Eagle and two species of vulture. There are some man-made attractions:
 
•    The Wat Sakae Temple which attracts plenty of visitors on the Laos New Year.
•    An old Pagoda and Xaysetha Stupa in Xaysetha dates back to the 16th Century.
•    The temple of Wat Luang Muang Mai is far more modern 1939
•    King Setthathirat of the Lan Xang is buried at Wat Pha Saysettha in Pha Meuang
 
Nong Fa Lake

Located a 3-day walk from Sanxay District in the northeast of Attapeu. Situated amid the serene natural beauty and fenced by peaks of mountains. This virgin lake has all year round sky blue water.
 
Tad Samongphak Waterfall: runs from Houay Samong to Xepiane River, 10 meters height and 30 meters width. 
 
Tad Phok Waterfall is 25 kilometers from Samakkhixay District. 
 
Tad Phaphong Waterfall: running form Xexou River, full of the colorful rocks.
 
Nonglom Lake: 3 kilometers from Samakkhixay District. It's the best place for a picnic.
 
Old Pagoda and Xaysetha Stupa: in Xaysetha District. it was constructed in 1579. 
 
Wat Sakae Temple: Sacred Buddha image, respects in the Lao's New Year.
 
11 DPM 912 and Ho Chi Minh Road: in Sanxay District.

Wat Sakhae Temple 
 
The ancient temple of Attapeu, the sacred Buddha image of Ongsene is one of the holiest of relicts.
 
Wat Pha Saysettha and Saysettha Stupa
 
his old pagoda was constructed in 1577 in the village of Pha Meuang at Saysettha's district and represents a crucial moment of Lane Xang's history when King Saysetthathiral was buried.
 
Nong Fa or Nong Kai Ork
 
At the amid of Dong Ampham's Forest and surrounded by mountains, at 2-day walk from Sanxay District in the northeast of Attapeu is located the source of the Xe Kaman river, the Nong Fa's lake(or Blue lake). 
Lonely Planet describes it as "a magical and  beautiful volcanic lake", similar but also larger than the Yeak Lorn's lake at Ratanakiri's Province in Cambodia.
 
The lake is shrouded in legends, and laotians refrain from bathing in this lake because they believe it is inhabited by a giant snake who devour its bathers.
 
Tad Phaphong Waterfall
 
Tad Phapong is a waterfall of the Xe Xou River. It is also accessible by trekking (6 km walk through the beautiful wild forest) or boating (trip of 5h from Saysettha District) and is noted for its many colorful rocks that line the riverside. 
 
Ban Mai and the Xe Pian National Protected Area 
 
The Xe Pian National Protected Area (NPA), cover over 240,000 hectares in the provinces of Champassak and Attapeu. It is one of the most important nature reserves of Laos  in which we find many species of trees and animals inhabiting in the forest (such as elephant, gaur, Sun bear, Asiatic black bear, and the yellow-cheeked gibbon...)
 
Exciting trekking and cruise in boat are proposed to discover this beautiful wild forest and their 3 waterfalls : 
 
Tad Saepha : 23 meters height and 120 meters width
Tad Samongphak : 10 meters height and 30 meters width
Tad Saeponglai
 
Moreover you can spend the night in the Ban Mai village and thus appreciate way of life and traditional Lao dinners and enjoy a relaxing evening on the banks of the Xe Pian river.
 
Nonglom Lake
 
Nonglom Lake, at about 3 kilometers from Samakkhixay District, is an ideal place for outdoor activities and picnics.
 
Dong Amphan NPA is situated in the north-east of ATTAPEU at the Annamite Chain that runs along the Lao and Vietnamese border. It covers 1972km2 and has elevations ranging from 120m to 2.052m. These mountains are steep and rugged and give rise to numerous streams and rivers, which create small floodplain areas. 
 
The area is inhabited by a variety of rare and endangered species, whose the buff-cheeked gibbon, the asia golden cat, clouded leopard, tigers, elephants and Trong Song muntjac. There are also more than 280 birds species, like the Siamese fireback, the crested argus, the woolly-necked stork, the Rufous-winged buzzard.

 The NongFa lake is situated within the boundaries of the NPA.Explorationofthese remote and beautiful area is possible with local guides during the dry season.
 
At Ban Thahine Village, people make pottery since several generations. they perform all steps of the pottery making process from collecting the earth to burning and glazing the vases.
 
the vases serve various purposes; the larger ones for holding water and the smaller vases are often used for the Lao-hai, a traditional alcoholic rice beverage. 
 
The glazes used for decorating and coloring the pots are produced from natural forest products, usually a mixture of leaves and ashes are applied to the pottery before to be burned, which leave beautiful hues of designs on the finished product.The process can be observed and jars can be bought by visitors.
 
Others souvenirs from Attapeu can be bought like cotton textiles from the Taliang ethnic group from Ban Xaysamphan and also basketry products of other various ethnic groups are available in the marketplace in Samakkhixay district.
 
 
 
 
 
The Attapeu Plain 
Attapeu Travel Tips
To prepare for trekking, wear suitable teva-type sandals or amphibious shoes as you will cross many streams, go through mud and take your shoes off and on when visiting the local houses.

Also, in rainy seasons, nylon stockings are recommended as a barrier that leeches cannot penetrate. Dress conservatively and take adequate sun protection, water and mosquito repellent.
 
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