After 9 days in Prabang it was the highest time to leave. Wish there was more time to explore the northern hill tribes, but Majka is not so keen on trekking the jungle and finding a bamboo shed with no running water at the end of the day, and there is no time either, since we want to spend the Christmas on the beach. However, northern hill tribes, brace! I'll be back if I can. Since we are heading south there were 2 options we considered. Either go to Vanh Vieng, the 'Ibiza of Laos', or head to Phonsavan for the Plain of Jars. Phonsavan was also one of the most heavily bombed districts of the most heavily bombed country, so I have put my foot down and made the decision. The winding, torturing journey took about 7 hours and we've been on the minibus station in Phonsavan before 4pm. The surprise was that there was a driver waiting for us with our names on his list. I thought this was a nice touch of our guesthouse. The driver rode us down a street about 100 meters, which was enough time for him to sell us a Plain of Jars day tour. But at the end he was a nice guy, so we didn't mind and that's how we have spent the next morning exploring a 'Bomb' village and 3 different sites of giant stone jars. Naqaphang, or better known as the 'Bomb' village, is as the name suggest a village where many of the cluster bomb shells are being creatively used as fence, pillars or flower pots. The blacksmith of this sizeable village tells us that the scrap metal from the bombs is the best quality metal around and the shaman invited us to have some Lao-Lao. It was around 9am already and we didn't have our coffee yet, how could we refuse?! The rest of the day we have visited the 3 main sites of the stone jars. Some were packed with as many as 300-400 of these gigantic jars either clustered together, standing in small groups or sometimes just alone. There is a few theories of what these might have been used for, most decide between burial urns or food storage. For me this looked more as burial sites as often they were on top of hills away from settlements, although the landscape of villages might have shifted in the past 3 thousand years these monolithic giants were here. In the evening we even had the time to watch a documentary movie about the ever present problem of unexploded ordinance (UXO), and the slow process of clearing the countryside from them, making the land safe to work.
Our stay in Phonsavan was short. 2nights only, 1 full day. This time flew by very quick, but the visit I think was worth it. Tomorrow we are off in the early morning, heading for the capital...
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