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Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Plain of Jars (Phonsavan)

Plain of Jars © Christopher Voitus
Plain of Jars © Christopher Voitus

Located in the Xieng Khouang Plateau of Northern Laos, the mysterious Plain of Jars is an unusual sight and a must-see attraction. Visitors will find hundreds of huge stone jars scattered about the landscape, some weighing as much as six tonnes and measuring around six feet in length. They're believed to be over 2,000 years old, though their origin and original function remain unknown. One story claims they were made to ferment rice wine to celebrate a victorious battle against a wicked chieftain in the 6th century. Others see them as sarcophagi or funerary urns. The jars are clustered into 90 groups, with Thong Hai Hin being the largest and most easily accessible site. Only Sites 1, 2 and 3 are open to visitors, as unexploded mines from the war lie around the other locations.