The plain of jars was the only reason I had to visit Laos, I knew nothing else about the country before I got here. And I'd only learnt about it from the Anthony Bourdain show No Reservations.
The problem on some of these sites is UXO (unexploded ordinance), but that's a problem everywhere here. They've cleared 7 of the jar sites so far, but there are signs up to warn you to stay on the marked paths as only the surface has been cleared outside of this area. Luckily I didn't get blown up.
The first site is easy to get too on sealed roads. Costs 10000kip to get in, and 2000kip to park a motorbike.
|And of course, since it's an historical site you must write on something... At least this isn't the jars themselves.|
|This is one of the cleared UXO markets, stay between the white!|
|A bomb crater just next to the jars. There's a few more craters on this site.|
|One with a lid. There are some lids scattered around the place, not too many though.|
|A path marked with the bricks.|
|Panorama from the top of the hill.|
Once I got to the second jar site I parked just next to the ticket counter. I took everything important out of my jacket pockets so I could leave it with the bike because it started to get hot. I locked up my phone and other camera and various items in the case on my bike, all while this Lao guy was watching me do this closely. I go up to pay another 10000kip to get in, then ask the guy for directions, he says yes, go up that way. I walk in about 20 meters when I see that there aren't any clear paths off the side of this road for about a hundred meters. I went back to the guy to ask how far up it actually was as there are no maps or arrows here, and he says "Oh take motorbike"... So you couldn't let me know that while you were standing next to me watching me pack up everything on my bike for five minutes? So I got everything back out of the case, put it all back in it's various pockets, and then rode up to the site.
|One of the lids on the ground. I guess that's a little stick figure human?|
Site three had the same no directions problem as site two. I parked near the ticket place, but this time there was an old bridge across a creek to get across. After that though, you're in a field.... So I made a guess and followed the worn path over to the hill.
|Site three! I sat here for a bit because it was hot and this time I didn't leave my jacket on the bike. It was very quiet here.|
|More of the trail from the Jars.|
|The bridge. Note there are some planks missing.|