Plain of Jars – Where Multiple Puzzles Reunites

It is undeniable that Plain of Jars - a megalithic archaeological area around Phonsavan and the main city of Xieng Khouang Province is dotted with enigmatic stone jars that no one can skip visiting when setting foot in this charming land. Not only would it be a beautiful place to take photos of various stunning jars, but also many fun mysterious lessons of Lao history that inherently contain a large number of questions with no clear answers.

Are you eager for getting insight into Plain of Jars? Let’s take a look at following information which will quickly open your mind about this archaeological site.

Plain of Jars’ History and Purposes

Perhaps, the first big wonder coming across everyone’s mind when mentioning about Plain of Jars is that why it has a weird name like this. Actually, its name comes from numerous collections of huge 2000-year-old stone urns discovered here.

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What is more, the jars’ derivation as well as making purpose has been still covered in mystery since the exploration happened in the 1930s. According to a well-known legend in this region, with a view to having cups to drink rice wine, a race of giants made and used them as the time passed. As stated by the bulk of locals, ancient jars were created to store rice wine for a military victory or keep water with the purpose of preparing for next coming dry season. On the contrary, some experts in archeological field claimed that the jars played an essential role as urns in burial rituals because the traces of burnt bones, teeth and human skeletons were explored inside and around them.

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Plain of Jars’ Highlights

Plain of Jars includes a large number of mysterious jars counting up to at least 3000 ones made of sandstone, granite or limestone in various sizes and shapes. Apart from possessing enormous dimensions (up to 3m in height, 1m in width, and even several tons in weight), these ancient jars also draws tourists’ attention by their animal caving lids detected at a few different places such as monkeys, tigers, or frogs.

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Plain of Jars is divided into three main sites whose features vary from a site to another. In a little more details, each site holds clusters of jars carved out of solid stone and seemingly dumped all around the surrounding landscapes, making for some truly amazing scenes.

• Site 1: Thong Hai Hin, located about 15km southwest of Phonsavan is the most worth-coming destination that fit travellers’ adventures. Specifically, the amount of over 300 jars makes it become more mysterious. Furthermore, a cave formed from a natural limestone in this area is regarded as a crematorium due to human relics here. How nice it is when being provided drinks and snacks in a solitary area like this by a tiny shop that needs only a couple of kilometers from Phonsavan to reach. This site is also a strategic military position during the Vietnam War. Alongside the Jars are foxholes and bomb craters that leave hard-to-describe emotions for everyone.

• Site 2 is much far away from this town and requires a ride lasting 11 kilometers of rough roads. Although the roads around here are quite challenging, it gives you an awesome chance to have better glimpses into rural Lao life. At site 2, the majority of the jars are broken and spread over on the tops of two small hills shaded by big trees. 

• Site 3 including not only mysterious jars but also rolling hills, green fields and plenty of cattle  is 10 kilometers far from Site 2. Moreover, the gate of site 3 is where tourists can enjoy a mean noodle soup at the small restaurant.

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How to Get to Plain of Jars

If you are in the metropolis of Vietiane, the fastest way to reach Plain of Jars is to take a short flight from there to Xieng Khouang airport of Phonsavan. As usual, daily flights of Laos Airlines take about 30 minutes and cost US$100, which is suitable enough for those who have a tight travel schedule. In addition, minivans or buses from many different Lao provinces will help you a lot to easily get this archaeological site. However, when you want anything fancier, you should look for the private transport.

From the center of Phonsavan, hiring a 3 wheeler converted motorbike with benches in the back, a minivan, a taxi or catch a local bus are viable options to fulfill your journey in charming Laos.

Opening Hours: daily from 9 am to 5 pm

Ticket Price: 10,000 Kips/person

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By and large, for travelers who are non-stop seeking for archaeology the remarkable mysteries, the Plain of Jars – a destination seems to be no logic behind jars’ placement is sure to meet the demands of them.

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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]