The province of Khammouane is located in central Laos bordering Bolikhamxay and Savannakhet Provinces. Khammouane covers about 16,000 square kilometers and has a population of approximately 330,000, mostly engaged in agriculture. The Mekong River Valley in the west is framed by the Annamite Mountain Range which separates Khammouane from Vietnam to the east.
Fertile land here is well suited to plantations of rice, cabbage, sugar cane, bananas, etc. A total population is made up of lowland and up-land Lao groups: Phuan, Tahoy, Kri, Katang etc. Thakhaek is the provincial capital, situated across the Mekong from Nakorn Phanom in Thailand. It also has much well preserved French colonial architecture similar to that found in Vientiane.
Inhabiting mainly lowland river valleys the Lao, Phouthai and other Tai-speaking peoples are the main ethnic groups in Khammouane. There are also Mekong or Bru people, a Mon-Khmer-speaking ethnic minority that make up 13% of the provincial population. In smaller numbers are the Kri, Nguan, Atel, Themarou, and Maleng who are mainly found in the mountainous eastern part of the province.
The vast forsest of the Nakai-Nam Teun National Protected Area are an important watershed that feed many Mekong tributaries as well as form the catchments area for Nam Teun 2, the largest hydropower project in Laos.