Bolikhamxay province is located in the centre of Lao PDR, with the provincial capital, Pakxan, located 140 km East of Vientiane along Highway Nr. 13 South. It has a total area of 15,977 km2, sharing national boundaries with Vientiane capital and the provinces of Xaysomboun,, Khammouane, and Xiengkhouang. To the East it borders the two Vietnamese provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, while across the Mekhong River it borders the Thai provinces of Bungkun, Nongkhai and Nakhonphanom.   The province consists of 7 districts including Pakxan Thaphabat, Bolikhan Pakkading, Khamkeut, Viengthong and Xaychamphone.  The population is 276,194 people (incl. 138,419 female), living in 47,396 households and 297 villages. The population density is 17 persons/ km2 with the highest numbers and densities in the lowland strip along the Mekhong River.   Bolikhamxay is rich in natural resources and mining, especially gold, silver, copper, lead, salt, and coal. It still has magnificent forest areas covering 55% of the whole province. There are abundant water sources, streams, rivers, and the large Mekhong tributaries of Ngiap, Xan, and Kading with high potential for hydropower development and irrigation schemes. The land is fertile and suited to agricultural production and animal rearing. The province has diverse tourist attractions of natural, historical, and cultural importance.   The province has a favourable strategic location in the centre of Laos and with direct connection between ...