One of the things that is becoming quite commonplace throughout Southeast Asia is the creation of nationally protected areas designed to ensure that the natural treasures of these countries are protected for future generations. The wildlife, including animals, plants, and insects, are viewed as treasures that need to be protected and given the opportunity to flourish.
Laos is no different in its desire to protect its natural beauty. This is why the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area was created and is now an area that protects the country’s wildlife in an area over 2000 square kilometers. Here you will find a spectacular array of vegetation, beautiful animals, and just an ecosystem that will leave you truly mesmerized as to how beautiful it is.
This protected area was created in 1993, and the government of Laos ensures that the sanctity of this area is well protected. This is with good reason. The landscape and ecosystem are quite varied. This ranges from sandstone cliffs to clear and pristine rivers all the way to rough, steep mountain slopes. Three rivers travel through the preserve and empty into the Mekong River. Here you will find several key reservoirs in the area, including the Ang Nam Leuk and the Ang Nam Mang.
Interestingly enough, the time of year that you come to visit this national preserve really would determine how full of life it is. During the dry season, which commonly occurs from November through April, you will find some of the reservoirs and rivers to be much lower in volume while the plant life will look a bit withered at that point. During the rainy season the reservoirs and rivers are nearly full to capacity, the waterfalls are bustling with activity, and the plants and orchids are in full bloom.
There are several animals in here that will leave you awestruck to view, and a few you want to make sure that you avoid. You will find some interesting forms of mammals, including the white sheet to given, the rhesus monkey, and the mouse deer. These are beautiful animals and the preserve affords you the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. However, there are some animals that you will definitely want to avoid. For example, the Asian black bear, the sun bear, the jackal, the wild dog, and the clouded leopard are frequently seen in this area as well, and should be avoided at all costs. This is true of the Siamese crocodile as well which have been seen in the Nam Reukreservoir.
While not as common of the site as before, and you still may come across the Asian elephant which lives inside the park. There were two large herds of these elephants, numbering between 40 and 50 of the beasts, and are more likely to be seen in the southern portion of the Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area.
There are two tribes of people that live within the preserve area. They trace their roots back to several centuries and the government felt it would be wholly unethical to move these people from a land that they have populated for generations.