Getting to know Plain of Jars

The most relevant attraction in the region is the mystifying ‘Plain of Jars’. Hundreds of huge stone jars lie scattered on an elevated plateau of grassland, southwest of Phonsavan. The purpose and origin of these stone jars remains unclear, but it is generally accepted that these stones date back to around 2000 years. The stones range from one and three meters long, and each one weighs several tons. Laos’ legends tell the story of how the jars were created by giants, whose king needed a place to store his wine. Other legends say that these huge jars were placed there to collect rainwater.

Science proposes that the jars were made by an iron-age civilization. When the jars were excavated, several contained burial items and jewelry. The lead archaeologist surmised that the jars were huge funeral urns. The proposition is upheld by a recent discovery of burial chambers underground, and by the grave markers near the chambers. Whatever the use, the jars will have you thinking till your return trip to your hotel.

Till 2003, the area was considered risky for travelers, due to minor guerilla activities and bandit attacks along the roads of Phonsavan, but during the last five years, travelers have safely visited and marveled at the jars.