Phonsavan

Plain of Jars

June 13, 2005

We took our last long distance bus ride today to reach Phonsavan to tour the Plain of Jars. The 9 hour bus ride passed through some striking scenery but the music they were playing on board almost made us want to jump out. We tried to use our ear plugs and MP3 player to drown out the screeching tone of the singer but to no avail. Just think really, really bad karaoke. We didn't dare make a fuss however because we had two armed guards on our ride. Evidently within the province are some active H'mong rebels so better safe than sorry. Unfortunately the fact that both guards were around 15 years old didn't instill a ton of confidence in us. Regardless the scenery did change from mountains to lovely rolling green hills with no rebels in sight. It was the first time we saw some green lawns outside of houses. The area of Phonsavan was heavily bombed during the Vietnam War so there were also pieces of war scrap outside of most houses and our hotel. Using what is available, the people made candle holders, forks and spoons out of some of the remnants. We had some difficulties finding a driver to take us out to the Plain of Jars but eventually got through to one tuk tuk driver. We walked about 2km to the entrance of Site 1 which holds about 150 jars. There are three major sites which hold jars ranging from 1-2.5m high. The jars are thought to be over 2,000 years old but no one knows how they got there or why. Some people think they held the remains of the people of the area while others think they were used to ferment rice wine. Either way they were a great site and again we had the entire place to ourselves so we could joke around a bit.






























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