Blogs from Phonsavan, East, Laos, Asia


Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan November 19th 2017

Getting to Phonsavan A songthaew came to get me at my hotel at the appointed time to take me to the bus station where our minibus was waiting. The inside of the minibus was already full of stuff; there were sacks of grain on the aisle and cans of cooking oil underneath the seats. Because of this, I was stoked when we set out with four empty seats. The minibus headed north halfway to Luang Prabang, then turned east. Just after turning east, the driver stopped for two women with six children. They put a lot of stuff atop the minibus, including two chickens in a cardboard box. It got crowded. The road was winding and bumpy. The driver didn’t stop much, so I was glad I kept to my regimen of forced dehydration on long ... read more
Plain of Jars Site 3
Plain of Jars Site 3
Plain of Jars Information Center

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan March 4th 2017

At the crack of dawn (seems most all buses in Laos leave from 6am-8am) I made my way to the terminal in Luang Prabang and purchased a ticket ($95,000kip) for the eight hour journey East to Phonsavan, or locally known as Xieng Khouang. Located in the North Eastern Province of Laos, close to the Vietnamese border, the rolling dusty valleys pegged in by mountainous jungles are home to some unique ancient archeological sites and the friendly Hmong hill tribe peoples. Unfortunately due to the strategic location and the events happening in the late 1960's and early 1970's this area of the planet was subjected to the largest and most intense aerial bombardment in the history of warfare and certainly in the history of mankind. All in a nation that was declared neutral by the Geneva Conference ... read more

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan January 29th 2017

The Plain of Jars is quite a curiosity. Hundreds of neolithic jars are scattered around the landscape and archaeologists' opinions about them are at odds with local legends. Staying in Phonsavan gives you a great base from where to explore the area, but getting there is something of an adventure in itself! We had booked our bus tickets with an agent in Luang Prabang. That meant we were collected from our hotel and taken to the bus station, quite some way out of town. Our driver seemed to be on some kind of errand run on the way as he stopped several times to pick up and deliver packages and, more surprisingly, sandwiches! Most travellers have experienced what came next. You get to the bus station and see a decrepit bus at the stand you expect ... read more

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan December 16th 2016

Geo: 19.4811, 103.13... read more

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan October 22nd 2015

I've always said to Steve that we shouldn't go to places we can't pronounce but that would mean that a lot of places would never get visited! We've struggled a bit with Laos - no-one understood our version (Layoss) but we adapted to Louse (as in hair nits) and it got better. I thought we might be OK with Phonsavan (well, the emphasis might be a bit dodgy but apart from that ...) but no. It seems the Lao language doesn't have an 'f' sound so words with a ph in them take the p sound and Phonsavan becomes Ponsavan. You live and learn .... After our experience on the VIP bus we decided to opt for a minibus as our form of transport on this occasion. We'd heard the roads were bad and twisty and ... read more
River Nam Chat water babies
Who's for dinner?
Phonsavan main street

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan December 19th 2013

Hello. 8h30 du mat, tuk-tuk jusqu'à la gare routière. On part en minivan à Phonsavan, dans l'Est du pays à une petite centaine de kilomètres de la frontière avec le Vietnam. La ville se trouve dans les montagnes à 1200m d'altitude. Il faut 6 heures pour y aller. Le trajet est plutôt sympa avec de jolis paysages et une image plus réaliste du vrai Laos. Mais la route est plutôt cabossée et comme toute route de montagne, elle n'est pas en ligne droite. Beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup de virages. A croire qu'il leur restait du goudron à dépenser. Heureusement je ne crains pas les routes de montagne mais le chauffeur me racontait qu'ici les chauffeurs sont obligés de prévoir les sacs plastique car il y a souvent des personnes qui s'amusent à déposer une gerbe... mais pas ... read more

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan August 2nd 2013

The 8 hour bus ride from Luang Prabang to Phonsavan allowed us to see in amongst the hills and valleys we has seen from the slow boat. Outside of the city this presented a very different side of Laos. Houses are wooden with bamboo roofs mostly raised off the ground. Children and adults shower in a communal area and food is eaten on the ground. Chickens, pigs and buffalo roam seemingly freely and cows sit outside the houses, some tethered, some not, as if like dogs near the front door. Phonsavan is the gateway town to the Plain of Jars, an iron age archaeological landscape comprising of clusters of stone 'jars', the original use of which is open to some debate. We visited sites 1&3 of the 3 main sites and saw jars of between 1-2 ... read more
Jars at site 3
Jars at site 3

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan July 21st 2013

The original plan was to take a usual (meaning sitting) bus to Phonsavan but since we left the booking for the last moment it appeared that we had missed the only sitting bus that day already so we were left with a choice of either staying another night somewhere in Vientiane and leaving the next morning or taking a sleeping bus the same evening instead. We really wanted to move on further so after bargaining on the price a bit, in the end we chose the latter. We were picked up from our hotel and on the way to the bus station we realised that we were missing the best sunset in Asia so far! Every evening I was hoping that finally we would see some decent sunset (as they have been quite disappointing until now) ... read more
at Jars site no.2
Plain of Jars site no.3
old bullet made into a lighter...

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan February 26th 2013

February 25, 2013 Phansavan was a whole new experience then anything I’ve explored so far. This place is raw. The landscape is a lot like central Oregon and the high dessert. The air is colder, enough to need shoes and a sweater. Layers of dust are now mixed in with the usual exhaust that coats your lungs. We are 3 of maybe 30 falangs (foreigners) in the whole city which is a new experience compared to all the touristy places in SE Asia. That’s exactly what I wanted but it’s a new feeling having every person you walk by stare at you. Phansavan filled me with so many different emotions its hard to know exactly what I’m feeling. What drew us to this city were ‘The plain of jars’. All three of us were intrigued by ... read more

Asia » Laos » East » Phonsavan December 30th 2012

V noci bola fakt kosa. Zobudil som sa na debilneho komara.Ma dobre postipal na ruku,ma to furt svrbi. Definitivne som vstal o 7/00,oholil sa a pobral sa prec. Motorku som zobral z ubytka,ktore je pri ceste do garden. Okolo 18/00 tu premietaju daky dokumentarny film,som si vsimol,ze toto robia vo vacsine zapadniarskych ubytiek. Motorka bola uplne bez stavy,tak mi tam domaci trochu sprtol nech sa dostanem na pumpu. V tomto ubytku som nakonec aj kupil listok na bus, majitel pohodak. Nechal som tu batoh a siel smer hrnce. Na pumpe som natankoval 1,85l benzinu a potom fakt uz smer hrnce. Cestou som sa radsej opytal ci mam dobry smer,jeden chalan vobec netusil kde sa nachadzaju hrnce a to bol miestny. Som sa ho pytal aj po laosky,nazov mi napisal majitel motorky a vobec sa nechytal. Nakonec ... read more

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