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Xieng Khouang - Phonsavan - Plain of Jars - Xieng Khouang
Explore one of the world’s unsolved mysteries with a visit to the Plain of Jars. Set in the eastern part of Laos, thousands of stone jars scatter across the area enticing visitors and historians to make conjectures about their origin. Wandering about the enigmatic jars is an experience like no other.
Arriving in Xieng Khouang, begin with the exploration of this small town which suffered greatly during the American bombing campaign of the 1970s. The unexploded ordinances and landmines of this era still liter the area and a visit to the Mine Action Group (MAG) will explain more about the efforts to de-mine the area.
The next morning, as the mist dissipates over the plains, set off for your tour of the Plain of Jars. Estimated to be over 2000 years old, the stone jars range in size from 70cm to 3 metres. They lie haphazardly across three main sites, in a tranquil countryside setting, adding to the obscure feel of the site.
Several theories propose that the jars were used as funerary urns, while local legend suggests they were drinking vessels for the giants who used to inhabit the area. As your guide takes you through the three main sites, learn more about these conjectures and form your own theory as to this great mystery.
The area surrounding the Plain of Jars is equally fascinating, and a drive through scenic rice fields and low-lying valleys takes you to Muang Khoun village. Spend the afternoon exploring the town’s old pagodas, including several from the Lanna period of architecture
Although not as famous as Stonehenge, the mystery surrounding the Plain of Jars and the serene setting are sure to delight inquisitive travellers.
Day 1 - Xieng Khouang
Arrive in Xieng Khouang, the gateway to the Plain of Jars. Referred to locally as ‘Phonsavan’, this small town has been completely rebuilt after suffering extensive destruction during the war in the 1970s. Enjoy an orientation tour of the city and visit the Mine Action Group (MAG) Centre. Here you can learn more about their efforts to clear landmines and other unexploded ordinances in the Phonsavan area.
Overnight in Xieng Khouang.
Day 2 - Phonsavan (B)
After breakfast, journey to the Plain of Jars and wander amongst these mysterious jars. A guided tour of the three main sites will explain the various theories behind the jar’s origins as well as give you insight in to the history of the American bombing of the area. After lunch, travel to Muang Khoun, the former provincial capital, and explore the ruins, ancient pagodas, and beautiful scenery of the area before returning to Xieng Khouang.
Overnight in Xieng Khouang.
Day 3 - Xieng Khouang - Departure (B)
After breakfast, the morning is at your leisure before transferring to your next destination