Ubon Ratchathani is both a city and a province in Thailand. For the province, see Ubon Ratchathani province. Ubon Ratchathani is one of the four major cities of Isan known as the "big four of Isan"; the city is on the Mun River in the southeast of the Isan region of Thailand. It is known as Ubon for short; the name means'royal lotus city'. The provincial seal leaves in a circular frame. Ubon was the administrative centre of Ubon Ratchathani Province; as of 2006, the Ubon urban area had a population of about 200,000. This included 85,000 in Thetsaban Nakhon Ubon Ratchathani, 30,000 each in Thetsaban Mueang Warin Chamrap and Thetsaban Tambon Kham Yai, 24,000 in Thetsaban Tambon Saen Suk, 10,000 in each of Thetsaban Tambon Pathum and Tambon Kham Nam Saep, 6,000 in Thetsaban Tambon Ubon. Ubon Ratchathani is 615 km from Bangkok; the city was founded in the late 18th century by Thao Kham Phong, descendant of Phra Wo and Phra Ta, who escaped from King Siribunsan of Vientiane into Siam Kingdom during the reign of King Taksin the Great.
Thao Kham Phong was appointed to be "Phra Pathum Wongsa" and the first ruler of Ubon Ratchathani. In 1792 Ubon Ratchathani became a province, was the administrative center of the monthon Isan; until 1972 Ubon Ratchathani was the largest province of Thailand by area. Yasothon Province was split off from Ubon Ratchathani Province in 1972, followed by Amnat Charoen Province in 1993. Ubon Ratchathani Province now ranks the fifth in area. Ubon Ratchathani sits on the north bank of the Mun River; the south bank of the river is occupied by the suburb of Warin Chamrap, incorporated into the city. The city was attacked by French forces in 1940 in retaliation for Thai attacks on French Indochinese towns. Ubon grew extensively during World War II when Japanese forces brought in prisoners of war by rail from Kanchanaburi. One legacy of this is a monument in the city's central Thung Si Meuang Park erected by British prisoners of war in gratitude to the citizens of Ubon for assisting them. During the Vietnam war, United States armed forces constructed Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, now a dual-use commercial airport.
Lao influence is evident in the architectural structure of some of the city's religious buildings. The city has branches of National Museum of Thailand. Ubon Ratchathani has a tropical dry climate. Winters are dry and warm. Temperatures rise until April, hot with an average daily maximum of 36.4 °C. The monsoon season runs from late April–October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm. Ubon is best known for its annual Candle Festival, held in July to mark the beginning of the rainy season retreat for Buddhists, Wan Khao Phansa called Buddhist Lent. One day prior, candles are taken to Thung Si Mueang, the central park in the middle of the city, to be decorated and exhibited in the evening. On the same evening, there are many smaller processions to bring candles to all Buddhist temples in Thailand; the main procession in Ubon takes place early the following morning. The province is known for its strong Buddhist tradition the practice of monks dwelling in the forest.
Wat Nong Pah Pong, for example, is a Buddhist forest monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition, established by Venerable Ajahn Chah Subhaddo in 1954. Ajahn Chah's style of teaching and personality had a notable ability to reach people of other nationalities. Many foreigners came to learn from, train under, be ordained by Ajahn Chah. Wat Pa Nanachat was established in 1975. Since that time, Wat Pa Nanachat has become a respected forest monastery, it includes under its umbrella over fifty monks representing twenty-three nationalities. Other Buddhist temples, in and around the city, include Wat Thung Si Mueang, in the centre of the city featuring an old wooden library on stilts in a small lake, Wat Nong Bua near the Big C mall, featuring a chedi modelled on Bodh Gaya in India. Two major high schools in the central part of Ubon Ratchathani; these two schools are aged more than 100 years old. Benchama Maharacha School, which offers an English language stream. Narinukun School, which offers an English language stream.
Ave Maria School. Assumption School, next to the Tesco-Lotus store on Chayangkun Road is a private Catholic school. Ubon Ratchathani University, a rural campus 15 kilometres south of the city, but accessible by two songthaew routes. Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University, an upgraded technical college just north of the central city. Ratchathani University, a private university with a large campus between the km5 post on the Ring Road and the Mun River. Mahachulalongkorn Ratchawitthayalai University is a Bangkok Buddhist university with a small campus on Wat Mahawanaram in the city, a new and much larger, but isolated campus in Tambon Krasop, northeast of the Ring Road. North Eastern Polytechnic College, with a campus on Chayangkun Road near the Big C Mall. Ubon Polytechnic College, with a campus on Chongkonnithan Road west of the city centre. Ratchathani Technology Vocational College, north of the Ring Road on Ubon 2 Road. Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, while Bangkok-based, operates the small Sun Witthaya Phatthana Ubon Ratchathani centre next to the National Archives, a block west of th
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
Tai Daeng people
The Red Tai are an ethnic group of Vietnam and Laos. They speak the Tai Daeng language. In Vietnam they are called Thái Đỏ and are included in the group of the Thái people, together with the Thái Đen, Thái Trắng, Phu Thai, Tày Thanh and Thái Hàng Tổng; the group of the Thái people is the third largest of the fiftyfour ethnic groups recognized by the Vietnamese government. 140,000 in Vietnam 25,000 in Laos Unknown population in Thailand Unknown population in the United States Thanh Hóa Province of Vietnam Patriarchal Animism/Theravada Buddhism Christian
Bolikhamsai is a province of Laos, located in the middle of the country. Pakxanh, Pakkading, Borikhan and Khamkheu are its districts and Paksan is its capital city; the province is home to Nam Theun 2 Dam, the country's largest hydroelectric project. Bolikhamsai Province, one of the provinces of Laos, covers an area of 14,863 square kilometres. Bolikhansai Province borders Xiangkhouang Province to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Khammouan Province to the south, Thailand to the west; the province includes the Annamite Range, stretching east to Vietnam, while to the west are the Mekong River and Thailand. At 3,700 square kilometres, the Nakai–Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Bolikhamsai and Khammouane Provinces is the third largest protected area in Laos; the province faced many invasions from the Siamese throughout its history. The foundation of Paksan dates from the late nineteenth century. In 1836, the Siamese assumed suzerainty over Laos. After 1865, the invasions of "Hos", Chinese gangs from southern China, affected the provinces of Xieng Khouang and Bolikhamsai.
In 1876, the King of Siam, Rama V, ordered the creation of the Muong Borikhane with the last survivors of the Ho invasion of 1874. The Muong of Borikhane was placed under the authority of Governor of Nong Khai. In the 1890s, Christian missionaries of the Missions étrangères de Paris arrived on the Mekong River, a few miles from the mouth of the Nam Sane, they built a church at Paksan. By 1911, the Muong Borikhane had about 61 villages housing a population of about 4000 inhabitants. Paksane had grown to several thousand in 1937. On 14 April 1958, the soldiers of Muong Kao Post under the command of sergeant May arrested Thao Am of Ban Boky; the modern province was formed in 1986 from parts of Khammuan. In recent times, religious tension has been apparent in the province. In February 2005, 100 villagers were forced to sell their possessions and prepare to be evicted in Kok Poh village in Borikham district, but the central authorities intervened to stop this.. Bolikhamsai Province covers an area of 14,863 square kilometres.
Bolikhamsai Province borders Xiangkhouang Province to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Khammouan Province to the south, Thailand to the west. Notable settlements include Pakxan, Lak Sao, Muang Bo, Ban Hatkham, Ban Thana, Ban Thasi, Ban Hai, Ban Don, Ban Soppanga, Ban Pak Ham, Ban Naxon, Ban Kengbit, Ban Pakha, Ban Phayat, Ban Sopchat, Ban Muangcham and Ban Nap; the province includes the Annamite Range, stretching east to Vietnam, while to the west are the Mekong River and Thailand. Bolikhamsai Province has a rugged terrain, with large boulders and streams; the altitude ranges from 140–1,588 metres. The principal river is the Nam Kading, meaning a tributary of the Mekong River; the other main rivers are the Nam Muan, Nam Sat, the Nam Tek. Waterfalls of note include Tad Xay and Tad Xang; the longest mountain range in the province is the Phou Louang range, running to the southwest, the Phou Ao range to the southeast. In Khamkheuth district, there is picturesque karst limestone scenery, the largest formation of its type in Southeast Asia.
The many rock pinnacles have formed stone forest similar to limestone outcrops in southern China. At 3,700 square kilometres, the Nakai–Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area in Bolikhamsai and Khammouane Provinces is the third largest protected area in Laos, it comprises mixed semi-tropical forests (reported in large areas of Indochina. The wetlands of the Nam Kading National Protected Area and the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area attract numerous migratory birds, has some 13 globally and 12 regionally endangered mammals such as the Asiatic black bear, clouded leopard, giant muntjac, sun bear, tiger and both northern and southern white-cheeked crested gibbon; the saola or Vii Quang ox was discovered in neighbouring Vietnam in 1992 and sighted since in this conservation area. In 1996, the saola was discovered living in the adjoining Khammouane Province. Under the WWF Greater Mekong Lao PDR Country Programme studies have been carried out in the two forest areas in the province to assess the degree of sustainable rattan harvest and production as it provides significant income in whole of the Mekong region to rural villages.
The forest areas covered are 349 ha of 364 ha in Phonthong. The species sampled were mak naeng, bamboo shoots of many species, all year san, pak van, wai houn, phak kout, wai khom, ya houa and ka don nam. Mammals include tiger, Malayan sun bear, giant muntjac, clouded leopard, Asiatic black bear; the mammal species protected under the Nam Kading National Protected Area are four critically endangered and endangered primate species: northern white-cheeked gibbon, southern white-cheeked gibbon, red-shanked douc langur and two leaf-monkey species. Bird species recorded in the province are bulbuls such as the bare-faced bulbul and the green cochoa. Four species of hornbills are reported; the province is made up of the following districts: Laos's largest hydroelectric project, Nam Theun 2 Dam, began operation in March 2010. The scheme diverts water from the Nam Theun, a tributary
Champasak is a province in southwestern Laos, near the borders with Thailand and Cambodia. It is one of the three principalities; as of the 2015 census, it had a population of 694,023. The capital is Pakse, but it takes its name from Champasak, the former capital of the Kingdom of Champasak. Champasak is bordered by Salavan Province to the north, Sekong Province to the northeast, Attapeu Province to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west; the Mekong River forms part of the border with neighboring Thailand and contains Si Phan Don in the south of the province, on the border with Cambodia. Champasak has played a central role in the history of Siam and Laos, with frequent battles taking place in and around Champasak, its rich cultural heritage includes French colonial architecture. Champasak has some 20 wats, such as Wat Phou, Wat Luang, Wat Tham Fai. Freshwater dolphins and the province's many waterfalls are tourist attractions. From the 1st to 9th centuries CE, Champasak Province was part of the Funan and Chenla Kingdoms.
Between the 10th and 13th centuries it was part of the Khmer Empire. In 1354, the area came under the control of the Lan Xang Empire; the Angkor empire went into decline between the 15th and 17th centuries when it was annexed by Lan Xang. In 1707, Champasak became one of three kingdoms arising from a dissolved Lan Xang Empire. In the 18th century Laos became an independent kingdom; the kingdom had only three emperors, Soi Sisamut, nephew of Suriya Vangas, Sainya Kuman and lastly Fai Na. Pakse, the capital of the province, was established by the French in 1905 as an administrative outpost at the confluence of Xe Don and the Mekong. Champasak Province covers an area of 15,415 square kilometres; the Mekong forms part of the border with neighboring Thailand and, after a sharp bend projecting westward, turns east and flows southeasterly through the province down to Cambodia. Champasak can be reached from Thailand through Sirindhorn District's Chong Mek border crossing, to Vang Tao on the Lao side, from where the highway leads east towards the provincial capital, Pakse.
The capital is on Laos' most important highway, Route 13, the French legacy can be seen in the city's architecture. Si Phan Don is on a stretch of the Mekong north of the border with Cambodia. Of these islands, Don Khong is the largest and has a number of small villages and caves. A French-built bridge on the abandoned railway line provides the link with two smaller islands, Don Deth and Don Khon. There are many waterfalls in the province such as the Liphi Waterfall at Don Khon to the west of Ban Khon village. Below the falls in the calmer waters of the Mekong; the Khone Phapheng Falls to the east of Don Khon on the Mekong, cascade along a broad mouth of rock slopes in a curvilinear pattern. The 120 metres, it is created by the Champi and Prakkoot streams which originate at about 1,000 metres above sea level. The plateau is east of Pakse. Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area lies in the southeastern part of the province, while the Dong Hua Sao National Protected Area is in the eastern area.
The Center for Protection and Conservation of freshwater dolphins is on the Cambodian border. These freshwater dolphins are known locally as "Pakha" in Lao, are found only on this particular stretch of the Mekong River. Hire boats are available to from Ban Khon or Ban Veunkham; the Mekong Channel from Phou Xiang Thong to Siphandon Important Bird Area is 34,200 hectares in size. A portion of the IBA overlaps with the 120,000 hectares Phou Xieng Thong National Protected Area; the IBA encompasses two provinces and Salavan. The IBA is at an elevation of 40–50 metres, its topography consists of earth banks, rocky banks, rocky islands, low vegetated islands, rocky islets, sandy beaches. Notable avifauna include Laos's last known nesting little terns, river lapwings, river terns, small pratincoles and wire-tailed swallows; the 36,650 hectares Phou Xiang Thong IBA is in the Phou Xiengthong NBCA. This IBA spans two provinces and Salavan; the IBA is at an elevation of 40–500 metres. The topography consists of low hills, lowlands and seasonal streams.
Habitat is characterized by dry deciduous tropical forest, moist deciduous tropical forest, semi-evergreen tropical rainforest, mixed deciduous forest, dry dipterocarp forest, open rocky savanna. Notable avifauna include the grey-faced tit-babbler, green peafowl, red-collared woodpecker, Siamese fireback; the province is made up of the following districts: The population of the province, from the March 2005 census, is 607,333. The ethnic composition consists of Lao, but Chieng, Kaseng, Kate, Kien Lavai, Nge, Oung, Suay and Tahoy ethnic groups; the economic output of the province consists of agricultural products—especially production of coffee and rattan. It is one of the most important coffee producing areas of Laos along with Salavan and Sekong Provinces. Pakse is the main trade and travel link with Thailand and Vietnam. Following the building of the Lao Nippon bridge across the Mekong at Pakse in 2002, trade with Thailand has multiplied several fold; the bridge lies at the junction of roads to the Bolaven
A writing system is any conventional method of visually representing verbal communication. While both writing and speech are useful in conveying messages, writing differs in being a reliable form of information storage and transfer; the processes of encoding and decoding writing systems involve shared understanding between writers and readers of the meaning behind the sets of characters that make up a script. Writing is recorded onto a durable medium, such as paper or electronic storage, although non-durable methods may be used, such as writing on a computer display, on a blackboard, in sand, or by skywriting; the general attributes of writing systems can be placed into broad categories such as alphabets, syllabaries, or logographies. Any particular system can have attributes of more than one category. In the alphabetic category, there is a standard set of letters of consonants and vowels that encode based on the general principle that the letters represent speech sounds. In a syllabary, each symbol correlates to a syllable or mora.
In a logography, each character represents morpheme, or other semantic units. Other categories include abjads, which differ from alphabets in that vowels are not indicated, abugidas or alphasyllabaries, with each character representing a consonant–vowel pairing. Alphabets use a set of 20-to-35 symbols to express a language, whereas syllabaries can have 80-to-100, logographies can have several hundreds of symbols. Most systems will have an ordering of its symbol elements so that groups of them can be coded into larger clusters like words or acronyms, giving rise to many more possibilities in meanings than the symbols can convey by themselves. Systems will enable the stringing together of these smaller groupings in order to enable a full expression of the language; the reading step expressed orally. A special set of symbols known as punctuation is used to aid in structure and organization of many writing systems and can be used to help capture nuances and variations in the message's meaning that are communicated verbally by cues in timing, accent, inflection or intonation.
A writing system will typically have a method for formatting recorded messages that follows the spoken version's rules like its grammar and syntax so that the reader will have the meaning of the intended message preserved. Writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, which used pictograms and other mnemonic symbols. Proto-writing lacked the ability to express a full range of thoughts and ideas; the invention of writing systems, which dates back to the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic Era of the late 4th millennium BC, enabled the accurate durable recording of human history in a manner, not prone to the same types of error to which oral history is vulnerable. Soon after, writing provided a reliable form of long distance communication. With the advent of publishing, it provided the medium for an early form of mass communication; the creation of a new alphabetic writing system for a language with an existing logographic writing system is called alphabetization, as when the People's Republic of China studied the prospect of alphabetizing the Chinese languages with Latin script, Cyrillic script, Arabic script, numbers, although the most common instance of it, converting to Latin script, is called romanization.
Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that a writing system is always associated with at least one spoken language. In contrast, visual representations such as drawings and non-verbal items on maps, such as contour lines, are not language-related; some symbols on information signs, such as the symbols for male and female, are not language related, but can grow to become part of language if they are used in conjunction with other language elements. Some other symbols, such as numerals and the ampersand, are not directly linked to any specific language, but are used in writing and thus must be considered part of writing systems; every human community possesses language, which many regard as an innate and defining condition of humanity. However, the development of writing systems, the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication, have been sporadic and slow. Once established, writing systems change more than their spoken counterparts.
Thus they preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. One of the great benefits of writing systems is that they can preserve a permanent record of information expressed in a language. All writing systems require: at least one set of defined base elements or symbols, individually termed signs and collectively called a script. In the examination of individual scripts, the study of writing systems has developed along independent lines. Thus, the terminology employed differs somewhat from field to field; the generic term text refers to an instance of writte
Khammouane or Khammouan is a province of Laos, located in the center of the country. Its capital lies at Thakhek. Khammouane Province covers an area of 16,315 square kilometres and is of forested mountainous terrain; the province is bordered by Bolikhamsai Province to the north and northwest, Vietnam to the east, Savannakhet Province to the south, Thailand to the west. Many streams flow through the province to join the Mekong River; 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. Part of the aborted Thakhek - Tan Ap railway would have crossed the province to connect with the North-South Railway at Tân Ấp Railway Station, Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam through the Mụ Giạ Pass. Khammouane Province, one of the provinces of Laos, covers an area of 16,315 square kilometres and is of forested mountainous terrain.
The province is bordered by Bolikhamsai Province to the north and northwest, Vietnam to the east, Savannakhet Province to the south, Thailand to the west. Many streams flow through the province to join the Mekong River; some of the major rivers which originate in the mountains of this province are the Xebangfay River, Nam Hinboun, Nam Theun and Namgnum River. Situated between the Mekong and the Annamite Range, the Khammoun Plateau features gorges, jungles, limestone hills, rivers. Thakhek, the provincial capital, is situated along the bank of the Mekong River, it borders Thailand. The city has many buildings designed in the French colonial architectural style; the third Friendship Bridge opened to traffic on 11 November 2011 across the Mekong River. It is a major link between Thakhek city in the Khammouane Province and the Nakhon Phanom Province in Thailand; the bridge is 13 metres wide. Tham Khonglor Cave is part of the Nation Protected Forest Area in Hinboun Mountain, its west entrance is from Ban Khonglor village in Hinboun District, while the east entrance is from Ban Natan village, Nakai District.
The cave runs for a length of about 7.4 kilometres and its width varies from 10 metres to 90 metres. Its height is in the range of 20 metres to 100 metres and the Hinboun River flows through the cave perennially. Vang That and Had Xay Luang are the two hanging rock formations in the cave. Had Xay Luang is a white sand beach here, of about 150 metres in length and 100 metres width; the cave is approachable along two routes, one from Vientiane along Route 13 to Hinboun District, the second route is by boat along the Hinboun River. The province's forest areas consists of three reserve areas; these are the Nakai - Nam Theun National Biodiversity Conservation Area, which covers an area of 352,200 ha of the Annamite mountains and the adjacent Nakai Plateau in the provinces of Khammouane and Bolikhamxay, the Hin Nam No National Biodiversity Conservation Area with an area of 86,229 ha, the Phou Hin Poun National Biodiversity Conservation Area with an area of 150,000 ha. These forests have many natural caves.
In 1996, western scientists discovered a rodent in Khammouan representing a mammal family, known only from fossils. The Laotian rock rat or kha-nyou called the "rat-squirrel", was formally described as a new species in 2005; the species was first described in a 2005 article by Paulina Jenkins and coauthors, who considered the animal to be so distinct from all living rodents. They placed it in Laonastidae, it is in the monotypic genus Laonastes.'Species of mammals, some discovered recently, include the following: saola, giant muntjac, Roosevelt's muntjac, Truong Son muntjac, Indochinese warty pig, Heude's pig, Annamite striped rabbit, Javan rhinoceros, Indochinese tiger, Asian elephant. Important Bird AreasThe 68,125 hectare Hin Nam No Important Bird Area is within the Hin Namno NBCA, its topography features undulating limestone hills, as well as valleys. The IBA's habitat is characterized by sparsely vegetated limestone karst, semi-evergreen tropical rain forest, mixed deciduous forest, moist deciduous tropical forest, wet evergreen forest.
Crested argus and Austen's brown hornbill are classified as near threatened. The inornate squirrel has been identified as important fauna within the IBA; the Khammouane IBA is situated within the Phou Hin Poun NBCA. The IBA is 79,000 ha in size and its altitude is 200–900 metres above sea level; the topography and habitat are characterized by sparsely vegetated limestone karst, semi-evergreen forest, mixed deciduous forest, as well as non-calcareous substrate. The IBA is notable for supporting a taxon of François' langur; the population of the province according to the 2015 census is 392,052. The province is made up of the following nine districts: Thakhek, the provincial capital, is an important centre for trade. Along with Bolikhamsai and Savannakhet provinces it is one of the main tobacco producing areas of Laos. Part of the province Yommalath District, was badly affected by floods caused by heavy rain in July 2011, affecting rice farmland in the district, inundating 700 hectares, destroying dozens of fishponds and killing 112 cattle.