Savannakhet Province has two National Protected Areas (NPAs) – Dong Phou Vieng and Phu Xang Hae
The National Protected Area of Dong Phou Vieng is about 3 hours drive from Savannakhet city travelling eastwards along Route 9. usd to zar - Forest types include evergreen, mixed deciduous and dry dipterocarp forest. The Xebanghieng River is a branch of the Mekong and flows through the heart of the protected area.
Wildlife that can be found in Dong Phou Vieng includes Dour and Francois’s langur, elephants, cattle, tigers, pangolin, Oriental pied hornbill, great hornbill, wreathed hornbill and the white-rumped and red-headed vultures.
Sections of Dong Phou Vieng also formed part of the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail used during the Vietnam war and the Tad Hai Bridge offers visible evidence of the destruction caused by the US bombing of Laos during this period.
The friendly villages of Ban Vongsikeo and Ban Nhang visited as part of one of Savannakhet Eco Guide Unit’s treks is a good place to learn more about the genuine lifestyle of the Katang ethnic people who inhabit this area.
Phu Xang Hae National Protected Area is about 5 hours drive from Savannakhet city travelling eastwards along Route 9. Wildlife that can be found here includes Dour and Francois’s langur, elephants, tigers and other big cats, bears and the bar-bellied pita. Forest types include evergreen, mixed deciduous, dry dipterocarp.
The Phou Xang Hae range is dominated by a steep sandstone escarpment, which slopes to the south and in the west rises more gently to a plateau. Sandstone outcrops occur throughout Phou Xang Hae and can be quite extensive.
The Savannakhet Eco Guide Unit offers treks which include family homestays – providing opportunities to experience local lifestyle, and learn about the culture of Phuthai ethnic group which dominate this area.