Thailand & Laos 08-09 travel blog

From Kasi to Phonsavan

Two nice lads who wanted to practice their English

Great views!

The Maly hotel, Phonsavan (note bomb decorations!)

The Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars

So much culture!

Bamboo rafting

Collecting firewood

Many & various road hazards

Snake cure!

Trust steed

Typical Lao hilltop village

A 'challenging' journey to Phonsavan, due mainly to the fact that we couldn't find anywhere decent to stay en route and so had to press on after dark, during which time, the temperature plummets and we got extremely cold. Although the views were quite something, such an intense dose of two wheels took its toll! Luckily, found the Maly hotel whose proprietor was pretty much responsible for getting the Lao tourist authority to open up the famous Plain of Jars. This is a strange place, spread over a number of sites, with the purpose of the jars themselves remaining unknown. Various theories include funeral urns, storage for rice wine etc. Whatever their purpose, many were destroyed during the American's intense bombing of the region during their secret war. it is thought that the jars are approximately 2,000 years old.

Site 1, which we visited, warns visitors to keep to the designated pathways and looking at the many bomb crators that engulf the jars themselves, I could see why. In fact, more ordinance was dropped on Laos than was discharged in the whole of the Second World War, and its deadly legacy remains to this day with many children maimed and killed each year. And as the value of scrap metal increases, many farmers, too, seeking to disarm the bombs in order to recycle the metal, are also killed and maimed.

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