Plain of Jars

Phonsavan Travel Blog

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Me with a rare jar - it has a lid. Site 1

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Hien (Vietnam), Hoai (Vietnam)

We arrived into Phonsavan after a gruelling 7 hour bus trip, which wound up and down mountains and caused the woman sat behind me to continually vomit into a bag, right next to my right ear! When we got off the bus, we met 2 nice Vietnamese girls called Hien and Hoai, who we shared a jumbo into town with. After finding a decent hotel for $4, we accompanied them to Dinner before booking our tour for the following day.

Up bright and early, but wishing we were still in bed, we met the girls for breakfast. We were then on our tour to the Plain of Jars, the main reason to visit Phonsavan.

Hoai, Hien, Me and Julia at the Plain of Jars - Site 1
There are 3 sites spread across the region and all contain large pots, dating back before the time of Jesus. They measure 1-3 metres on average, weigh up to one tonne and it is still unknown what they were used for. Some argue they are burial caskets, whilst others say that peoples ashes were stored in them, like a huge urn. Another theory is that they were used to distill Lao whiskey, or store rice. Whatever they were made for, they sure look out of place on the mountainside!

After looking around site one and discovering spiders loved to make their houses in the pots, we drove on to site 2 via a house that doubled up as a whiskey distillery. We saw the stages it went through and the smell was horrible enough to make me not want to taste it! As we proceded down the dusty road, there was suddenly a huge bang and i casually said to Julia that the tyre must have burst.

Julia at the Russian tank
After a brief stop, the guide informed us that this was why people were told to take organised tours, because the area is still littered with mines and we had just run over one! At site 2 we understandably ambled around with greater caution, before heading back to the mini van.

On our way to site 3 we stopped at an old Russian tank, which filled Julia with nostalgia of her motherland, before having our lunch at the ticket office of site 3. The site was similar to the previous 2, although the pots were more closely arranged. Potted out, we headed back to Phonsavan and prepared ourselves for the journey to Luang Prabang the following day.

During our dinner of fried noodles, Julia came across a rather fat, meaty looking noodle. With closer inspection, it wasn't hard to see that it was actually a big fat worm, which probably hadn't been washed from the vegetables. A couple of months earlier and i think Julia would have been screaming in disgust, but now she just moved the fried worm to the side of the plate and finished the meal! What a good sport.

Deats says:
Yeah, it happened in our mini van. It seemed so surreal to think we had just run over a mine! Not sure what type of mine it was, as it wasnt strong enough to take out a vehicle. Maybe one designed to blow your leg off - scary!
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
almond72 says:
You were in a bus when that explosion happened ? It happened to your transport ? Good thing you guys made it back safe.
Posted on: Jul 24, 2009
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Me with a rare jar - it has a lid.…
Me with a rare jar - it has a lid…
Hoai, Hien, Me and Julia at the Pl…
Hoai, Hien, Me and Julia at the P…
Julia at the Russian tank
Julia at the Russian tank
Plain of Jars - Site 1
Plain of Jars - Site 1
The largest jar at Site 1, weighin…
The largest jar at Site 1, weighi…
Spiders in one of the jars
Spiders in one of the jars
Julia at the Plain of Jars - Site 1
Julia at the Plain of Jars - Site 1
Plain of Jars - Site 1
Plain of Jars - Site 1
Me at the Plain of Jars - Site 1
Me at the Plain of Jars - Site 1
An American bomb crater, made duri…
An American bomb crater, made dur…
Plain of Jars - Site 2
Plain of Jars - Site 2
Phonsavan
photo by: droonsta