Well off the radar

Formed in 1984 by carving out parts of Salavan and Attapeu, Sekong is the second smallest province in Laos. It is also one of the poorest, the least accessible and therefore one of the least explored.

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Much of Sekong is rugged, wild, mountainous terrain that rises up with the Dak Cheung Plateau sprawling eastward to the Annamite mountain range and Vietnamese border. The most accessible part is the narrow strip of lowland in the western edge, where Route 11 runs along the Sekong river valley dividing the Bolaven Plateau with the rest of the province. Those on the shorter motorbike loop from Pakse (heading clockwise from Tad Lo to Paksong) will only cut through the corner for 13 km. Those doing the bigger loop are treated to a longer stretch of lonely, beautiful open road and two waterfalls.

We’re on a road to nowhere ... : Cindy Fan.
We’re on a road to nowhere ... Photo: Cindy Fan

Another title of distinction: Sekong is the most ethnically diverse province in southern Laos. It is home to 14 different groups, mostly belonging to the Mon-Khmer linguistic family including the Nge, Talieng, Alak and Chieng, some groups numbering only in the low thousands, scattered throughout in isolated, hard to reach villages, sometimes cut off from the outside world for parts ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,200 words.)

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