Welcome to Bolikhamsai & Khammuan Provinces
Lowland Lao dominate the population and, along with smaller groups of tribal Thais, are the people you'll mostly meet. In remoter areas the Mon-Khmer-speaking Makong people (commonly known as Bru) make up more than 10% of the population of Khammuan.
Much of the region is relatively sparsely populated and six large tracts of forest have been declared National Protected Areas (NPAs). These areas have become a major battleground between those wishing to exploit Laos' hydroelectricity capacity and those wishing to preserve some of the most pristine wilderness areas in Asia. For now, the developers have the upper hand.