use and human environment
land use map is like a negative of the forest cover map.
areas in the mountains and east of Savannakhet
for less than 3% of the total, with two exceptions.
proportion of crop areas is higher on the Bolovens
Plateau, which, unlike the Xiengkhuang Plateau, was not as
bombed, and along the southern roads of Oudomxay
provinces. This map also highlights the
nuclei of settlement shown in the population density
map, between Vientiane and Pakse.
for less than 10% in the districts bordering the
in Savannakhet, between 10% and 12% in the
and Pakse provinces. Crop areas rise to
13% and 19% in Vientiane city and along the
road to Thoulakhom,
peaking at 28% in the two
districts on the road to the bridge over the Mekong.
The natural reproduction rates reflect the spatial
of the land use map in the four southern
but they contrast with land use in the Centre and
North. The fastest growth is found in Huaphanh
(2-3.5%), the most heavily populated regions
be bombed, and in the neighbouring provinces (1.7-2%),
have experienced a post-war baby boom.
The jewels of Lao cultural heritage are strung out
along the Mekong Valley, from the city of Luangphrabang,
the original capital of Lan
included on UNESCO's
World Heritage List; via Vientiane, which replaced it
16th century; to the Khmer
temple of Wat Phou,
capital of the kingdom of Champassack;
and the Khone
Falls. The prehistoric site of the Plain of Jars (even
pagodas of the Phouane
principality were destroyed during
the war), the Buddhist sites of the Sekong
Valley and the
caves that sheltered the Pathet
during the bombings are among the country's most famous
other sites. Hotel capacity is concentrated along the
and Road 13, with Muong
(a new city) and Namtha
governing access to China.