Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Phonsavan (Plain of Jars)

Plain of Jars

After leaving Luang Prabang I drove East towards the small town of Phonsavan. The area is famous for the three sites called the plain of Jars. Due to the excessive rain I was only able to visit site one as poor road conditions prevented access to the others.

 To date who or where these huge stone jars came from is unknown but there are many assumptions. Some say they were made by giants to drink whisky from and others say they are burial urns since remains have been found in them.

They vary in size and just like stone hedge you cannot imagine how they got there and why.

Each one is hollowed and made of granite. The labour alone to make is mind boggling!!!!!

Another reminder of the past when visiting Laos is how WW11 affected the country. The landscape is  dotted with bomb craters.

(MAG) Mines Advisory Group

To this day the past secret war of the USA where they dropped hundreds of thousands of mines on Laos is still having an effect. The above markers are found where MAG has safely removed UXO (unexploded ordnance) from the area. 
Hundreds of people are still wounded or killed each year due to the UXO.  When walking you want to stick to the paths where you know it is safe. It is estimated that 30% of the bombs dropped did not explode and are still scattered throughout Laos. 
This has a huge effect on local villages because they cannot farm their nearby land due to all the UXO in the ground. And because of this there is not enough food to feed there families.

Another temple found in a cave on the plain of jars. There are many more areas of jars but as mentioned above they are yet unsafe to explore due to the UXO in the area,

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