Over the years, we had expected to see these treks become more and more popular, but as of our last visit, the whole place is still empty.
Sekong province is divided into four districts -- Lamam, where the capital city of Sekong is located (known locally as Muang Lammam). Then there are Kaleum, Tha Teng and Darkcheung districts.
As of a census count in 2000, there were reportedly 273 tribal villages in the province, comprising a total population of about 82,000. There are 14 tribes: the Taliang, Ngai, Alack, Katou, Chatong, Lavenh, Lavy, Gnae, Dark Kang, Taliew, Ta Oy, Katang, Souay and Lao Lum.
Tha Teng and Darkchueng districts are colder throughout the year, with temperatures descending as low as three degrees Celsius in some areas in the rainy season, and rising as high as 35 degrees in the high season. The average yearly rainfall is about 2,500 mm.
Lamam and Kaleum are hotter and drier, with 1,500 mm of rainfall yearly.
Kaleum, 74 kilometres from Sekong, offers a chance to visit the Ngae, Hathvy, Hanong, Packtrai, and HathPae tribal villages. Tham Daeng Cave can also be visited as well as Nang Lao mountain. Local transport over land to the village by tuk tuk or songthaew should be available at the Sekong central market and the bus station.
Dark Cheung district
This district, 105 kilometres from Sekong, is best visited in dry season when the roads are at their best, during March, April and May. Sites to visit include Thong Neum, Thong Lek and Pak mountain. The Thalieng tribe also has three villages here -- Darklang, Darkseng and Darkturb.
By Adam Poskitt
Last updated on 22nd June, 2013.