Published: February 7th 2009January 27th 2009
We stayed in Vang Vieng for another day of tubing. I can now see why people stay there as long as possible. It's a wicked place. This time we found the bar with a massive mud pit which was fantastic!
On the 26th we got a local bus to Phonsavan and the Plain of Jars. I gotta say it wasn't the best journey to take on a tubing hangover, especially with the bus stinking as much as it did! Every time we stopped I had to run off to get some fresh air. I noticed the guy behind me as well who at one stage got out a AK47 type rifle from under his seat to check it over.
We arrived in Phonsavan about 7-8 hours later. Its not the greatest of places and I'm glad we were only there a couple of nights. The next day we went to the Plain of Jars. We visited the 3 main sites where there are between 200-400 stone jars littered across the landscape. They were between 1m-2.5m in size and a few of them had lids. Apparently they're about 400 years old and no-ones quite sure why they're there. Archaeologists believe they were used for cremations but local legends say they were used to store rice and Lao-Lao whisky for a huge festival for a king.
Also interesting and quite shocking was the amount of bombing in the area. The whole region was severly hit by American bombs in the Vietnam war. A lot of the jar sites were still being cleared of UXOs (unexploded ordinance) and even the 3 main sites we visited had markings on the ground to show where they had searched and excavated the areas.
The Americans dropped about 16 million bombs in Laos and that equates to half a tonne per person living in Laos at the time. 30 years on the organisation MAG are still trying to clear all the unexploded bombs.