Getting to Salavan province, Laos – Salavan tourism

Despite Being backward region but Salavan own really spectacular mountain scenery and primary culture such as waterfalls and a diverse array of ethnic groups, major of this region are currently inaccessible for classic tours style, but it would be great challenge for adventure travelers. The road leading to the town center is from Pakse, 125 kilometers, reaches the town and comes to an abrupt dead end. Reach from Vietnam is only 100 kilometers; recently a new route has been opened up along route 15 B to the north, which now leads all the way to Vietnam.

Introduction                               

Located: in the southern of Laos

Total area: 10,691 square kilometers.

Population: 366,723.

08 Districts: Salavan, Ta-Oy, Toumlane, Lakhonepheng, Vapy, Khongxedon, Lao Ngarm and Samouay.

Capital of Salavan province: Salavan.

Despite Being backward region but Salavan own really spectacular mountain scenery and primary culture such as waterfalls and a diverse array of ethnic groups, major of this region are currently inaccessible for classic tours style, but it would be great challenge for adventure travelers. The road leading to the town center is from Pakse, 125 kilometers, reaches the town and comes to an abrupt dead end. Reach from Vietnam is only 100 kilometers; recently a new route has been opened up along route 15 B to the north, which now leads all the way to Vietnam.

This province consist prospects for tourism in the future, most of province’s region is still unexplored to allow travelers to simply wander around and find fun things to do. For now, most travelers only head as far east as Tad Lo, which is 85 kilometers from Pakse and easily accessible by public transport or motorbike. It's a beautiful, tranquil little spot along a series of three waterfalls that attracts a steady trickle of backpackers as well as Laotians on vacation. Those wishing to travel further east will find themselves facing a series of challenges. Among these are a lack of services, travel agents, translators and qualified guides.

This destination is similar to frontier town that echoes in some way an Australian outback town, that is Hot, dusty, sleepy, with very few little things to offer the casual visitor except for wide, open spaces and quaint rural scenery. But it's exactly that feeling of being on the edge of a wilderness that gives Salavan its mystique and also assures that for the time being, it will only show up on the travel itineraries of those seeking an off-the-beaten track adventure. If tourism throughout the province opens up, then this will be a crucial base of operations, but until then, it remains a grim backwater.

If you still dare to come, you might head to Savannakhet first and on the way leading there, at least there is a destroyed bridge, but what you will get is a decent day market and a pleasant river to wander beside, along with a magnificent horizon. Along border with Vietnam hosts hundreds of ethnic minority villages, many with their own distinct language and culture, whose lives have been shaped over the centuries by the tortured history of the region?

History

Before it was renamed Salavan (Sarawan in Thai) by the Siamese in 1828, this area was a Champasak kingdom outpost known as Muang Mam and inhabited mostly by Mon-Khrner minorities. The provincial capital of Salavan was all but destroyed in the Indochina War, when it bounced back and forth between Royal Lao Army and Pathet Lao occupation. The rebuilt town is a collection of brick and wood buildings - only the Post Office shows evidence of the French era.

For the most part Salavan serves as a supply centre for fanners 'in surrounding districts. A large sheet-metal plant opened on the southern outskirts of Saluvan providing the town's first manufacturing jobs. Information You can change US dollars or Thai baht for kip (cash only) at the Lao May Bank a little west of the market. In front of the post and telecommunications office is a card phone.

Places to Stay & Eat

Saise Guest House Dorm beds with ran US$2.50 doubles with air-con" with- out/with bath US$4.40/5. The government-owned Saise is a cluster of three buildings with three- and five-bed dorm rooms. located about 2km from the bus terminal. Although it's no longer the only accommodation option in town, you wouldn't know it from the condition of the shared bathrooms here.

Sinsamay Guest House Rooms with 2 beds & fan/air-con US$3.15/4.40, VIP rooms with air-con & bath, TV & fridge US$5.65. Unlike the Saise Guest House, this hotel offers well kept toilet/bathing facilities.

Thipphophone Guest House Rooms with fan/air-con US$3.15/4.40, with air-con & bath US$5.65. Though the prices are the same, the rooms here are more basic than at the Sinsamay.

Chindavone Guest House (211065, just east of Thipphaphone Guest House) Rooms with fan US$3.75-4.40, with fan & bath US$5.65, large bungalows with bath US$6.25. This guesthouse was still under construction when we stopped by, but looks as though it will open soon. The three bungalows out the back have large rooms with attached bath. Some English is spoken here.

Nong Vilaivane (21/0/4, opposite the Finance Dept] Dishes US $1.25-1.90. This nicely maintained place with bamboo alls and ceiling fans is the best restaurant in town. The menu includes Lao, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. The restaurant also sells weavings from Sekong. There are several noodle shops in the vicinity of the market, plus .a small market along a side street near the main market with pre-cooked Lao food.

Getting There & Away

Air Lao Aviation lists a fare of US$91 to Salavan from Vientiane or US $44 from Savannakhet. In reality service was suspended in 1995 for the upgrading of Salavan'sairstrip and has yet tore sume,

Bus & Truck There are four regular passenger trucks or buses to Salavan from Pakse's Km 8 bus queue in Champasak Province. Buses (four to five hours) depart- ing at 7am, 11am and 1.30pm travel via Rte 23 through Muang Tha Taeng. The 9am bus uses Rte 20 (one of the best interprovincial routes in the country) through Muang LaoNgam (21/2 to three hours). The fare for both routes is US $I.25. Buses to/from Sekong (US $I.25, 21/2 hours, 90km) also pass through Muang Tha Taeng; see the Sekong section later in this chapter for details. From Sekong you can continue on to Attapeu.

During the dry season you can take Rte 23 north via Tumlan to Rte 9 in the Sepon area. If you're thinking that Salavan might be a shortcut for reaching Lao Bao from far- ther south, it may look shorter on 'a map but Rte 23 north from Salavan is in very poor Condition: the fords are a particular problemas the French-built concrete bridges were all bombed out during the Indochina War. It is, however, a very interesting route from the perspective of those interested in the local Austro-Asiatic tribes.

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